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[i4// Rights of Translation and Reproduction reserved^ 

I f 






China and the Roman Orient; 





By F. HIRTH, Ph. D. 


LTHOUGH I may hope that the researches 
forming the subject of this volume will meet 
with some interest on the part of a few 
readers in various countries, I must confess that, in 
writing down the results of my studies, I have 
endeavoured to please the German critic rather than 
the learned of any other country. Having myself 
studied the method of philological research at 
the feet of masters like Ritschl and Haupt, I 
am keenly sensible of the shortcomings of these 
notes. Principal among these is the selection of 
authorities for facts connected with classical anti- 
quity. I have only too often been obliged to 
draw from second-hand sources, which would be 
considered unpardonable in the case of authors 
fortunate enough to pursue their studies in the 
midst of one of the Imperial or Royal Libraries 
of Europe. I am therefore bound to urge that 
these sheets were written at Shanghai in the 
empire of China, amid the bustle of business 
life ; and that in collecting the most necessary in- 
formation required to prove my points, I had 
chiefly to depend upon the Chinese and western 
works of my own limited library. This is obviously 


a great drawback in the case of western authors ; 
and it constitutes almost as great a difficulty 
where Chinese authors are concerned. For, 
whatever facilities life in China may oflFer to a 
western student in the way of personal encourage- 
ment, it would be a mistake to assume that it is 
easy for a foreigner in this Empire to obtain 
access to a great number of native books, 
especially rare books, which have to be collected 
as chances for purchasing them may offer. It is 
much easier to pursue such studies in the libraries 
of Paris, London, Berlin, Munich, or St. Peters- 
burgh, where all the important and interesting 
works in Chinese literature are found together. 

I owe yet another apology to the German critic. 
Why, my philological countrymen will ask, write 
your book in English as long as you can write 
your own language? why expose yourself to the 
risk of finding your bad English denounced as long 
as you are able to handle a German pen? I 
must admit that the choice between the two 
languages occupied my mind considerably at the 
outset ; but, finally, practical reasons prevailed 
upon me to risk all the disadvantages to which 
writers in foreign languages are exposed. The 
book had to be printed somewhere ; if in 
Germany, the absence of the author would have 
created insuperable difficulties in supervising the 
printing of Chinese passages ; if in Shanghai, 
the printing of a German book would have 
obliged the author to learn more of the art of 


printing than the opportunities of life had hitherto 
taught him ; and as matters happen to be, it 
seemed best to follow the advice of Mme de 
Stagl, who is credited with the authorship of the I 

familiar bon mot according to which German is . r 
the language we should think in, and English I | 
the language we should write in. There is some . \j 
sort of consolation in the idea that most sinolo- 
gical readers in Germany understand English. 
I regret to say that this is not generally the 
case with classical students, and that my notes 
will be lost to many a connoisseur of Roman 
oriental antiquities who might have elucidated 
difficulties now left in the dark for want of 
special study. 

The mystery connected with that country in 
the Far West, described by ancient Chinese authors 
under the name of Ta-ts'in, has occupied the 
sinological world at intervals since the beginning 
of the last century. The task which I thought 
had still to be performed in connection with 
this interesting subject was — 

1. The collection of all Chinese texts em- 

bodying information on the subject ; 

2. The translation of these texts as far as ' 

they were new to the public, and the 
retranslation of portions already known 
but hitherto imperfectly rendered ; 


3. The identification of facts contained in 
these Chinese texts. 

My interpretation of these records leads to the 
conclusion that the ancient country of Ta-ts4n, 
called Fu-lin during the middle ages, was not 
the Roman Empire with Rome as its capital, but 
merely its oriental part, viz., Syria, Egypt and 
^Asia Minor ; and Syria in the first instance. If 
applied to the Roman Orient the greater part of 
the facts mentioned by the Chinese can be traced, 
and a reasonable explanation may be found for 
them without resorting to improbabilities ; while, 
if applied to the whole empire, or to Italy, or 
to any other part of ancient Rome, the matter 
contained in the Chinese tradition does not agree 
with reality. As I read the Chinese notices they 
contain tolerably exact statements regarding the 
contemporaneous geography of western Asia ; 
they would indeed be *' puerile nonsense" — as 
I believe Colonel Yule calls them somewhere 
in his Cathay — if applied to any other part of the 

Yule remarks with regard to the information 
possessed by ancient western geographers of the 
country of the Thinae: "It is natural in such a 
state of imperfect knowledge both that the name 
of the remoter but dominant nation should 
sometimes be applied to its nearest subject races, 
and that the characteristics of these nearest races 
should sometimes be transferred to the governing 
nation. Something in a degree analogous has taken 


place in our own specific application of the term 
* Dutch' only to our neighbours of the Nether- 
lands." ( Cathay^ Vol. I, p. xliii). Quite a similar 
remark may be made with regard to the idea we 
find prevailing among Chinese, ancient and me- 
diaeval writers about the characteristics of their 
Ta-ts*in and Fu-lin. But we have to add that, 
although many of the peculiarities of the governing 
nation (Rome) were found in the subject country 
(Syria), the Chinese were not aware that Ta- \ 
ts*in as known to them was subject to a larger I 
Ta-ts4n yet. To them Antioch was the capital j 
of the empire; for, the "queen of the east" j 
possessed so much splendour of her own, that to 
the oriental traveller the distant grandeur of her 
superior rival was eclipsed. It struck Yule, "in 
spite of the * confident identifications' of de 
Guignes and Visdelou, that the view entertained 
by the Chinese themselves of the Roman Empire 
and its inhabitants, had some striking points of 
analogy to those views of the Chinese which are 
indicated in the classical descriptions of the Seres:" 
" There can be no mistaking the fact," he continues, 
" that in this case also the great object was within 
the horizon of vision, yet the details ascribed to 
it are often far from being true characteristics, 
being only the accidents of its outer borders 
towards the east." I am about to show that, as | 
long as these details are not ascribed to the whole 
empire, but merely to its eastern borders, they 
are sufficiently accurate to be called tiw^ Oaacfs.^- 


teristics, and that the deficiency urged in the last 
sentence of Colonel Yule's remark is not one 
inherent in the Chinese notices themselves, but 
one which is artificially introduced by those who 
[persist in applying them to the Roman Empire. 
As Syria and Egypt were Roman provinces we 
find, of course, traces of Roman life among the 
characteristic details placed on record by the 
Chinese historians ; but we shall find that the 
oriental character prevails in all the main points, 
apart from the unmistakeable features of the 
topographical configuration of the country. 

I have had the satisfaction of seeing the principal 
results of these researches, as far as they could be 
judged of by the perusal of advance sheets of the 
book, approved of by a number of sinological 
friends; and I may consider myself fortunate 
if they meet with a similar reception on 
the part of the general public. I am, of 
course, well aware that much remains to be 
done and that there is a fair chance for fellow- 
workers to treat with success quite a number of 
problems which I have either not taken up at 
all, or not attempted to solve definitively, because 
the range of my studies did not seem to qualify 
me for the question. 

Mr. Phillips writes with regard to my identifi- 
cation of T*iao-chih: *4his is the only part I 
cannot quite make up my mind to accept. There 


ar(5 two things that require research. Firstly, did 
the Rhinoceros thrive and flourish at Hira at the 
time mentioned ? and, secondly, can the term Hsi- 
hai^ western sea, be applied to the Bahr Nedjef? 
T*iao-chih is the pivot upon which the whole 
thing turns. I find that I, like yourself, have in 
my manuscript about Ta-ts*in made Ssu-pin and ^ 
Ssu-lo Ktesiphon and Seleucia, etc." 

As regards the Western Sea question, I hold that, 
as the periplus from east to west began or could 
begin in the Chaldaean Lake, it is quite possible 
that these waters were comprised under the name 
** western sea." A correspondent of the China 
Review (Vol. XIII, p. 358) quotes Herodotus 
(I, 184) to say that, before the reign of Semi- 
ramis, the Euphrates used to overflow the whole 
plain like a sea. Further, Mas'udi (transl. A. 
Sprenger, Vol. I, p. 246) says : ** The greatest 
part of the water of the Euphrates had once its 
course through el-Hlrah : the bed may still be 
traced, and it has the name of 'Atlk (ancient). 
On it was fouglit the battle between the Moslims 
and Rostam (at the time of 'Omar), called the 
battle of el-Kadesiyah. The Euphrates fell at 
that time into the Abyssinian sea [^>., the Indian 
Ocean, here the Persian Gulf], at a place which 
is now called en-Najaf [Nedjef] ; for the sea came 
up to this place, and thither resorted the ships 
of China and India, destined for the kings of 
el-Hlrah." A few pages farther on, Mas'udi relates 
a dialogue between the Arab conqueror Khdled 


and a native of Hira. Khaled had asked that 
the people of the city should depute an intelli- 
gent aged man to his camp, that he might enquire 
of him about their affairs. The following colloquy 
then took place between Khaled and this aged 
man of Hira: 

** Are you Arabs or Nabathaeans ? 
"We are Nabathized Arabs, and Arabized 

" How many years are come over thee ? 
** Three hundred and fifty. 
" And what hast thou seen ? 

" I have seen the ships of the sea coming up 
to us in this deep country with the goods of es- 
Sind and India ; the ground which is now under 
thy feet was covered with the waves of the 
sea. Look how far we are at present from the 
shore, etc." 

\ Re the Rhinoceros : the difficulty arising from 
the mention in the Hou-han-shu of this animal 
as " coming from " T4ao-chih together with lions, 
zebus, peacocks and ostriches is not removed by 
placing T4ao-chih in any of the countries with 
which others have associated it, nor by giving it a 
position farther south on the coast of the Persian 
Gulf; the countries producing the rhinoceros at 
the present day are altogether out of the question. 
Dr. Bretschneider [Notes and Queries on China 

1 Cf. the remarks on p. 172 regarding the relationship between the 
Chaldaeans (T'iao-chih) and the 'Nabathaeans (Li-kan, Rekem). 


and ^apan^ Vol. IV, p. 60 seq.), in trying to 
identify T^ao-chih with ancient Persia (Susa, 
Persepolis), assumes that, in this case, the term 
hsi-niu should be translated by buffalo ; buffaloes 
being found in great numbers all over western 
Asia^ But the difference between this animal 
and the rhinoceros is far too great ; and I would 
certainly not credit the Chinese writer, who 
must have known the former from his own 
experience and the latter from detailed des- 
criptions of the Annamese species occurring in 
contemporaneous 'and older Chinese works, with 
such a confusion. If we possess no positive proof 
of the rhinoceros having existed in Chaldaea, 
I am also not aware of ancient authors stating 
that it did not exist there ; for, ancient literature, 
as it now exists, is mainly of an accidental 
nature and cannot fairly be expected to contain 
an exhaustive picture of the geographical range 
of each animal. , Whether the rhinoceros did or 
did not occupy a prominent position in the 
Chaldaean fauna, there is no doubt that the low, 
swampy soil of the inundated fields near the 
-lower course of the Euphrates must have been 
as good a habitat for this pachyderm as any other 
part of the world. Our knowledge in this respect 
is very incomplete, and the faith I place in the 
accuracy of ancient Chinese records has been 
so much strengthened in the course of my studies 
that «I consider their mention of the rhinoceros 
in T4ao-chih quite as reliable as if the animal 


was Stated by Ktesias, Pliny, or Strabo to have 
been seen in Chaldaea.) Is not our knowledge 
of the old fauna of countries much nearer our 
own civilisation equally doubtful? Who would 
have looked for rhinoceros' bones in the caves 
of Mount Libanon near Beirftt where they have 
actually been seen together with the relics of 
the ure-ox, the bear, the Capricorn, the aboriginal 
goat (Urziege), the gazelle and the antelope ? 
{Fx?i?Sy Drei Mottate im Libanon^ Stuttgart, 1876, 
p. 66.) Brehm {Thierlebefiy 2nd ed., Vol. Ill, 
p. 520) mentions a rhinoceros seen by Chardin at 
Ispahan, though I am not able to say how the 
animal had got to that place. 

I have much pleasure in acknowledging the 
advice and assistance I have received in passing 
these sheets through the press from Messrs. H. A. 
Giles and E. H. Parker. 


Shanghai, June 1885. 


irREFAGES ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• PP* lll'^Xll 

Contents ... ... ... ... ... ... ,, xiii-xvi 

1. — Introduction ... ... ... „ 1-30. 

Dynastic Histories — Daily Chronicles, p. 1; the Shih-chi 2; the 
ChHen-han-shu and Hou-han-shu 3 ; the Ta-ts^in account in the ffou- 
han-shu referred by some to Roman Empire 4; arguments against 
this theory; Nestorian Inscription as a witness 5; early editions of 
the HoU'hansku 7; old Chinese texts compared with western 
classical texts 9 ; probable sources of information regarding western 
countries 10; the San-kuo-chih 18; the Wei-Uo 14; the Chm-shu, 
Liang-shu, etc., 16; the Wei-shu, Sin-shu and the two T^ang-shu 
17; the ^tin^-«7ii7i and Ming-shih 19; minor publications, cyclope- 
dias, etc.; Ma Tuan-lin 20; the Chu-fan-chih 21; conjectures 
regarding the life of Chao Ju>kua 23; the T ^U'shu-chi-ch^eng 25; 
Fa Hsien 26; mistranslations 27; von Richtliofen misled by 
da Guignes 28 ; necessity for new translations 30. 

2. — Translations AND Chinese Text pp. 31-134. 

Translations, Introductory Note 33; Synopsis of Extracts 34. 

Translation : 

Chinese Text: 



-•P*-^3!--— ' 





» >> 





„ 36 





„ 87 





„ 40 





,, 43 





„ 45 





„ 46 





„ 48 





Translation : 

Chinese T 


Chiu-t 'ang-shu 

p. 51 

p. 104 



„ 56 

„ 106 


Nestorian Inscription 

„ 61 

„ 108 



„ 62 

n ty 



„ 64 

„ 109 



„ C7 

„ 110 


Wen-hsten-t 'ung-k'ao 

„ 77 

„ 114 



„ 92 

„ 120 


Variants 122; Index to Translations or Chinese Text 123. 

3. — Idrntifications ... ... ... pp. 135-313. 

Ancient route from Central Asia to Ta-ts*in 137; Li-kan and 
T'iao-chih; Kan Ying's , mission 138; An-hsi identified with 
Parthia 139 '^ the earliest account of An-hsi, ibid.; the later 
(Hou-hari'shii) account of An-hsi; Hekatompylos 141 ; Mu-lu 
identified with Antiochia Margiana 142'; T*iao-chih identified with 
Chaldaea 143; Li-kan T4ao-chih may be the Seleucid empire 146; 
the "western sea," ibid,] the "city of T*iao-chih" on the peninsula 
in the Chaldaean Lake 147; the kingdom of Hira 149; Yii-lo 
identified with Hira 151; overland route from Hekatompylos to 
Chalda^Ba 153; Acbatana, Ktesiphon, 154; the Euphrates and 
Tigris; Orchoe 155; " the port of Ta-ts'in," and the periplus of 
the Erythraean Sea; outlets of Roman trade in the -Red Sea; 
Egyptian and Nabathaean ports, 15S; Phopnician dyeing and 
weaving industries probably diverted the silk trade to Nabathaean 
ports 159; Aelana, E9e6n-geber; Petra or Rekem 160; Rekem, an 
old seat of oriental trade and civilisation 161; bifurcation of road at 
Rekem; Ta-ts*in lies between two seas 163; the terms hai-hsi and 
hai'tung, ibid,\ the sea trade from Chaldaea to Rekem 164; Kan 
Ying's failure 166; speed of ancient navigation 167; Li-kan 
mentioned in early records 169; various explanations of the name 
170; identified with Rekem 171; early relations between the 
Chaldaeans and the Nabathaeans and the joint name Li-kan T*iao- 
chih 172; alleged embassy to China of A.D. 166, p. 173 ; the silk 
trade through Parthia interrupted through war and disease 174; the 
alleged embassy may have been a commercial expedition sent in order 
to re-open trade with China 175; arrival of the first Ta-ts4n mission 



in Chiaa 176; sea-route to the coast of Pegu; ronte through 
Tiia-naa 179; Roman trade through the Egyptian ports: the Nile 
route known in China 180; Alexandria in Egypt 181; sea passage 
on the Mediterranean from Alexandria to Antioch 182; overland- 
routes from Babylonia to Syria 184; the term jao-hai: 
ambiguousness of a passage in the Hourhanshu 185; Mesopotamia 
187; analysis of routes mentioned in the Wei-lio 188; dependent 
kingdoms 189; Ts^-san near the mouth of the Euphrates 190; Lii* 
fen may be the region of Osrhoene 191; the flying bridge mentioned 
in Chinese records identified with the bridge of Zeugma 192; 
Ch^ich-lan (Palmyra?) 193; Ssu-t'ao (Sittake?), Ssu-fu (Emesa?) 
194; Hsien-tu (Damascus?), the '^ Stony Land" (Arabia PetrsBa?) 
195; the Taurus and other ranges; difficulties in the text of the 
TFet-2io 196; Ssii-lo (Seleucia) 197; the city of Madain and the 
Tigris; the site of T4ao-chih 198; Ch'ih-san is Alexandria, and 
not Byzantium 199; the Amazons 200; information reaching China 
through Indian sources 201; the Pygmies 202; the Ichthyophagi 
204 ; the city of Antioch identified as the capital of Ta-ts'in 207 ; 
size of Ta-ts'in and Fu-lin territories 214; the number of cities in 
Ta-ts*in 218; tigers and lions in Ta-ts*in 219; the Ts*ung (hyaena, 
jackal?) 220; roads and postal arrangements ^21; the milliary 
system: parasangs, Arabian miles and stadia 222; distances of 
various places quoted 224; profit on trade lyith India and China 
225; articles of trade in ancient China (226; balance of Roman 
oriental trad^227 ; Roman import trade in Chinese produce chiefly 
paid for in kinoT;"^ glass industry 228; derivation of the word Uu-li 
230; the introduction of glass-making in China 231; glass con- 
sidered a precious substance in ancient China 233 ; Syria, the centre 
of trade in precious stones 234; imitation gems 237; employment 
of crystal in decorating pillars, walls, etc., 238 ; crystal and glass 
confounded 239 ; the use of gems and precious stones in decorating 
walls, etc., is a local feature of ancient Syria 240; sources of 
information regarding precious stones in Chinese literature 241 
the ^^ jewel that shines at night'' 242; gold, silver, amber 244 
gems probably came from the factories of Alexandria 245 
corals 246; pearls, textile fabrics 247; purple-dyeing; names of Ta- 
ts'in piece-goods 248; Chinese modem names for broadclotk axvd 


Russian cloth; Asbestos cloth 249; the Roman Orient was the seat 
of the principal cloth industries 252 ; embroidered textures, gold 
embroideries; Attalicae vestes 258; textures of several materials 
(silk, wool, linen, byssus) 254; musj^ and colours of Ta-ts*in 
rugs 255; silk industries in Ta-t8*in(|5§^ Chinese silk imported to 
be unravelled and re-woven C257; Coicae vestes 259; the water- 
sheep 260; Col. Yule's and Dr. Bretschneider's views regarding the 
water-sheep 261 ; storax (su-ho) a product of Syria 263; frankin- 
cense 266; the Henna plant 268; alleged introduction of papyrus 
rolls from Rome: the paper offered to China is Annam produce 272 ; 
realgar, orpiment, copper, gold and silver 275; theriac 276; barter 
trade in Ceylon: the spirit or devil market 279; analysis of records 
regarding Fu-lin 283; Mr. Phillips' view of Fu-lin the correct one: 
the king of Fu-lin an ecclesiastical ruler 284; Fu-lin as the country 
of the Nestorians 285; old sound of the name Fu-lin 287; the name 
Fu-lin represents the sound Bethlehem 290; the Jo-shui or Weak 
Water of Chinese legend-writers 291 ; the king of Fu-lin, Po-to-li, 
a Nestorian (?) patriarch 293; the capital of Fu-lin besieged by 
the Arabs 295; Fu-lin as a Seldjuk province 297; Milikshah, 
the Seldjuk Sultan; the titles Sultan.and Melek 298; Mi-li-i-ling- 
kai-sa 299; Damask blades and saddlery; Fu-lin physicians: 
trepanning 801 ; Chinese embassies alleged to have arrived in 
Rome 304; the Indian embassy under Constantino; the alleged 
arrival of Seres under Augustus 305 ; no official mission was sent 
from China to the west before Kan Ying; the mission of Ts*in-lun, 
a merchant from Ta-ts'in 806; linguistic results 309. 

4.*— ""ijiBNESRAIj xNDBX ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• «•• p. olD. 



It is well known that China is fortunate enough ^ 
to possess a series of historical works comparing ' 
most favourably, in some of its parts, with the 
historical literature of any nation in the West. 
Since the Han, each dynasty has had its own 
history, compiled from its court chronicles, or 
yih'li (0 M), during the succeeding reigns. 
The J-ih'liy lit. "Daily Chronicles," must be 
considered the prime source of all the information 
contained in these histories. Whether these 
latter were impartial in the treatment of historical 
characters, whether they did not "turn black 
into white, or right into wrong," would, of course, 
depend greatly on the entries made in the 
^th'lty but also upon the neutrality of the historian 
himself. If the assumption could be justified that 
a new dynasty, having by conquest gained the 
ascendency, regarded the succumbing dynasty as 
the enemy of its cause, we might perhaps expect 
but scant justice from those who had power over 
both the Chronicles and the compilers. There is, 
however, no ground for this suspicion when a life- 


time has elapsed between the period described and 
that during which the history was written. One 
fact only strikes us as being possibly ascribable 
to prejudice on the part of historians, and that 
is, that the last ruler of a dynasty is generally 
described as either a very foolish or a very wicked 
character. Our present subject is, fortunately, 
scarcely affected at all by these considerations ; and 
the less so, as, thanks to the uniform arrangement 
of these dynastic histories, the information regard- 
ing the various foreign nations with which the 
Court of China had come into contact has been 
extracted from the yih-li and collected separately 
in special geographical divisions of the work. 

The Erh-shih-ssu Shth ( H + ^ ) or 
''Twenty-four Dynastic Histories," contain in 
all over 3,000 books, and a European scholar 
who would think of extracting from them notes 
on a subject similar to ours, would find this to be 
a Herculean labour were it not that the methodical 
mind of the Chinese writers had carefully put aside 
all he wants into special chapters regarding foreign 
countries. Thus we find chapters on the Hsiung- 
nu; on the South-Western barbarians (Man); on 
the country of Ta-wan, generally identified with 
the present Ferghana, in the Shih-chi of Ssii-ma 

Ch'ien (^ ^ ^), whose work opens the series of 
the Erh'shih-ssu Shth. Ssu-ma Ch'ien* did not 

1 This historian died about B.C. 85. He was the best known 
member of a family in which the talent for historiography was as 
hereditary as musical talent was in the Bach family. 


attempt to carry his geographical notes farther 
than the ^ countries with which China had then^ 
come?, into -immediate contact. His successor, 
Pan Ku (3^ ^), who, with his sister Chao 
(B3)) compiled the ChHen-han-shu^ i,e.^ "History 
of the Former Han Dynasty," and who died / 
A.D. 92, knows considerably more about the / 
countries of Central and Western Asia. His \ 
geographical chapters, of which we possess a 
translation,^ betray the interest which had been 
taken in geographical enterprise since the death 
of Ssu-ma Ch4en, and which must have naturally 
been increased in the author from the fact of his 
being the elder brother of Pan Ch'ao (J^ ^), the 
famous military traveller of that period. Pan Ku , 
may have heard of his brother's expedition to the 
foreign territories in Western or Central Asia 
but he was no longer alive when Pan Ch^ao returned 
to_China in A.D. 102. This may account for the 
fact that much of the information for which the 
Chinese must have been indebted to Pan Ch^ao's 
last expedition found its way into the Hou-han-shu^ 
or "History of the After Han Dynasty," and not 
into Pan Ku's work. 

The HoU'han-shu^ compiled by Fan Yeh (^8||), 
of the earlier Sung Dynasty (A.D. 420-477), 
is the first authority which gives us a certain 

1 A. Wylie, in Journ. AnthropoL Inst., ''History of the Heung-noo 
in their Relations with China," Vol. Ill, pp. 401-452, Vol. V, 
pp. 41-80; "History of the South- Western Barbarians and Chaou- 
seen," ibid., August 1879; "Notes on the Western Regions/* ibid., 
August 1880 and November 1881. 




number of details regarding the countries in the 
extreme west of Asia. The Hsi-yii-chuan (0i ^ 

^), ix.^ "Traditionsjegarding Western Countries," 
then became a regular feature in the dynastic 
histories, and is found under this or some 
similar designation in most of the subsequent Shih. 

The Hsi-yfl-chuan of the Hou-han-shu contains 
for the first time a description, consisting of 589 
characters, of the westernmost amongst the 
countries described in Chinese literature previous 
to the Ming dynasty, the country of Ta-ts4n* 

(3;^ ^ ^). In this description we find quite 
a number of facts regarding the situation 
of the country, its boundaries, capital, people, 
products, and industries, which would, apart 
from any collateral information derived from later 
histories, have furnished a sufficientjbasis for the 
identification of the country, had not an unfor- 
tunate prejudice at once taken possession of those 
European sinologues who investigated the subject, 
for they held to the opinion that Ta-ts4n, being 
the most powerf^Lxpmitry described in the Faf 
West, must necessarily be the Roman Empire in its 
full extent, with Rome as its capital. This theory 
has been especially defended by Visdelou and de 
Guignes, and recently by Bretschneider, Edkins, and 
von Richthofen. I must confess that I once shared 

1 The name is so well known in this orthography that I may be 
allowed this slight departure from Wade's system of transliteration, 
otherwise adhered to in this book. It should have been spelt Ta-ch'in. 
Visdelou spells Ta9in. 


that prejudice, and that when, two years ago, I 
commenced to collect the passages relating to 
this question, I did so for the purpose of support- 
ing the arguments in favour of Rome and Italy. 
I soon found, however, that a close examination 
of the Chinese accounts, instead of substantiating 
my original views, induced me to abandon them 
altogether. In these records mention is made of 
the manufactjire^ojLsj^^ which has been shown 
by Hanbury to have been at all times confined to 
the Levant ; of the use of^ijstal (glass) and pre- 
cious stones as architectural ornaments ; of foreign 
ambassadors being driven by post from the frontier 
to the capital ; of the milliary system of the country, 
which was based on the division of ten and three ; 
of the dangerous travelling, the roads being infested 
with timers and Jioiis, thus compelling wayfarers to 
resort to caravans. / A consideration of this among 
other testimony forcibly suggested the idea that 
Ta-ts'in was not Rome itself, but one of its 
eastern provinces. 

It is well known that the Nestorian missionaries, 
whose existence in China during the 7th and 8th 
centuries A.D. is witnessed by the celebrated 
stone inscription found near the city of Hsi-an-fu 
in A.D. 1625, declare Ta-ts4n to be their native 
country, and the country in which Christ was born. / 
This clearly points tp^ Syria ; and on this evidence 
several of those who were familiar with the subject 
have been induced to abandon the idea of Rome 
being the country sought for, in favour of Syria or 


a part of S3nia (Judaea, Palestine). Paravey, * 
adopted that view in 1836 ; so, some twenty years 
later, did Wylie* and Pauthier.^ But the reasons 
assigned by these three sinologues for their opinion 
rest mainly on the Nestorian inscription itself. 
They would not be valid in the eyes of those who 
consider this document a forgery, as did Voltaire, 
and recently Renan, neither of whom were 
sinologues, supported by K. F. Neumann and 
St. Julien, who were, and might have formed 
a better opinion on the matter but for their 
prejudice against those who held the opposite 
view. I am personally perfectly satisfied as to 
the genuineness of this inscription, and think it 
superfluous to add any new arguments to 
those brought forward by Wylie and Pauthier. 
What I wish„ to do, however, is to fill the 
gap left by thQse two .writers by collecting such of 
the arguments in favour of the identity of Ta-ts*in 
with Syria as may be derived from ancient 
and mediaeval Chinese historical literature, alto- 
gether apart from the Nestorian inscription. 

In giving an outline of my Chinese sources I 
had arrived at the Hou-han-shu of Fan Yeh. The 
text of this work, as it now appears in recognised 
editions, was not entirely written by Fan Yeh 

1 Dissertation abregee sur le Nom antique et hieroglyphique de la 
Judee, Paris, 1836. 

a ''On the Nestorian Tablet of Se-gan-foo," North-China Herald, 
1854 and 1855; reprinted in the Shanghai Miscellany , 1855 and 1856, 
and in \^^Journ, Am. Orient, Soc, Vol. V, Art. II, pp. 275-336. 

3 De r Authenticite de r Inscription nestorienne de Si-ngan-fou, Paris, 
1857, 2Lnd L' Inscription syro-chinoise de Si-ngan-fiu, etc., Paris, 1858. 


himself, the so-called Chih (^) being of another 
hand. The chapters on foreign countries, However, 
are assigned to him. The emperor Kao-tsung 
(A.D. 650-683) ordered a comnientary to be 
written,^ which is still printed with Fan Yeh's text. 
It mnst be understood, therefore, that the notes 
intended to explain certain difficulties in the text 
are written about two centuries after the latter. 
As regards the trustworthiness of the tradition 
we must consider that the Hou-han^shu was first 
printed during the Sung dynasty, and that none 
but manuscript copies existed for several centuries 
after the completion of the work. I have 
not seen the j^tio.^,princ^^s^,' but I have 
had before me one of the oldest editions, 
printed during the 3rd year of Ch*ien-tao 
(A.D. 1167)^ together with the Ch^ien-han-shu. 
It was a magnificent print consisting of 64 volumes 
in large folio ; the characters were of the largest 
size, printed on white paper, exhibiting, as it were, 
the characteristic water-mark, viz., the absence of 
the transparent horizontal lines found in all 

1 Ma Tuati'lin, ch. 191, p. 17. 

3 Printed in A.D. 1022. The first printed edition was edited by 

Sun Shih (^|l^), an official of rank in the Kuo-tzii-chien 0"?^), 
or Imperial Academy of Learning (for which see Mayers, The Chinese 
Government^ No. 247 ; also Imbault-Huart, Recueil de Documents sur 
VAsie centraUf p. 47, note 2), and well known as an authority in the 

interpretation of the classics (see the Ssu-k^u-ch^uan-shu-tsung-mu, 
ch. 15, p. 24). He was entrusted with the responsibility of comparing 
the first printed text with the manuscript on record in the state 

3 With leaves from an edition of the 2nd year of Ch'un-yu 
A.D. 1243). 


Chinese paper manufactured after that period. 
Each page contained in the margin the name of 
the copyist whose handwriting had furnished the 
wood-cutter with the model from which it was 
printed, and each volume contained the vermilion 
seal of a former owner, Prince Kuo (;|^ ^ T). 
The work was then for sale at the price of 
700 taels {£17 S). I have compared that part of 
the text which relates to Ta-ts*in with a modern 
standard edition, and am satisfied that, excepting 

the omission of a final yeh {^) in one case and the 
correction of the character shih (|5i5) ** legion," into 
shih (^) '4ion," in the later edition, no change has 
been made in it since the Sung edition was printed.^ 
Previous to the Sung period, as I have already 
remarked, probably only manuscript copies existed ; 
but although it is impossible for us to trace back 
the text to its first origin, we have so much 
less reason to throw doubt on the tradition, as, 
owing to the distance of the country described, 
Chinese copyists could have no possible interest 
in making spurious additions. If any changes have 
been made in the text they can only be due to 
oversight ; and such errors, though not absolutely 
excluded from a Chinese book, play a much less 

■ ■ ■ ■ — -■ ■- ■- — . — . 

1 Through the kindness of Mr. Hsfl Chia-kuang (-j^^Sl), the 
manager of the Chinese Publishing Company, T'ung-w6n-shu-chfl 

(I^Ilitfi'JS)' which has made a noble start in the reproduction, by 
means of photolithography, of the best and rare editions of the standard 
productions of Chinese literature, I am enabled to insert a facsimile 
copy of the two pages, printed in A.D. 1167 and 1242 respectively, 
containing the account of Ta-ts'in as appearing in the Hou-han-shu 
edition referred to. 






11 I w 




* •.? 

■»' .ftf/ ■ 



^ V 

J^it^K ii 


I. .( 

c ' 


i « 




' .r •" 



. •> 

. .Jl 



»^t' - 






important part in what we may call the "Text- 
kritik" of ancient Chinese authors than they do 
in the codices of our Greek and Roman classics. 
The reasons for this fact are obvious enough. 
The Chinese scholars to whom at various periods 
the state archives (which must include official 
manuscripts of former d3mastic histories) were 
^^ntrtisted, were neither as ignorant or careless in 
what they copied as were the monks having 
furnished that treasury of Greek and Latin blunders 
which made philology such a useful science ; nor did 
they have to contend^ with any difficulties similar 
to those arising from the fact that the study of 
classical literature had been dormant for centuries 
when its revival began in Europe ; that the manu- 
scripts then brought to the light were partly 
mutilated and thence unintelligible ; and that the 
way of writing both Greek and Latin had undergone 
considerable changfestrv,^ In China, such works as 
the Han-shu have during no period been entirely 
lost, sight of ; they were written in language 
understood by the educated classes at all 
times up to the present day ; they were first 
copied in characters hardly diflferent from those 
in use at present, and at a time when the 
present mode of writing the so-called Ch4eh-shu 
(f^§), which was destined to become the orthodox 
style for the last fifteen hundred years, had been 
en vogue for more than a century. Wang Yu-chiin 
(3E >& ?)) whose handwriting became the pattern 
of elegant writing, died in A.D. 379 ; the 


characters he wrote are even now daily copied 
by those who wish to write well, and are as 
clear to any one conversant with modern 
literature as are those appearing on the Nestorian 
inscription of A.D. 781.* 

The prime source of the text of the 
Hsi-yii-chuan should, like that of the chrono- 
logical chapters, been sought for in the daily 
notes {yih'lt) made by the contemporaneous 
Court chroniclers (Shih-kuan, fi ^)'. These, 
like the Tu-ch*a-yiian or Censors of the present 
dynasty, were allowed to have their own opinion 
on the actions of their government, and enjoyed 
the additional advantage of not having to openly 
remonstrate with their monarch, but keeping 
their historical records secret. When these 
were handed to the historian for publication, the 
monarchs whose actions were described were 
no longer alive or in power, and their family 
was excluded from government. Neither the 
Emperor nor any of his ministers had access 
to this part of the state archives. Such, at least, 

^ Neumann's doubts (Zeitschr d. deutsch, Morgenl. Gesellsch. IV, 
p. 38# soqq., 1850), shared by Renan and Julien, as regards the style 
of writing used in the Nestorian inscription, which he says is too 
modern to be credited with a thousand years' age, is utterly baseless. 
An untrained eye will scarcely notice the difference between that 
style and the style practised nowadays, and this may be said with 
regard to any other similiar text of the T'ang as of other former 
dynasties. A Chinese connoisseur, who had never heard of the 
Nestorian Tablet, and to whom I showed a tracing of it, declared i^ 
at once as "T'ang-pi," U., written in the style of, and containing the 
slight varieties adopted during, the T'ang dynasty. 

a Ma Tuan-lin, ch. 51, p. 15, seq. 


was the principle on which the daily chronicles 
were based, whatever transgressions of the rule 
may have taken place. 

The information regarding foreign countries, 
we must assume, was entered in the chronicles 
from depositions made by the various foreigners 
arriving: at the Court of China. Whether these 
were in the possession of credentials from their 
own monarchs, and if so, whether their credentials 
were, or could be, properly scrutinized, is an 
open question. It appears that the Chinese 
Courts were only too much inclined to look upon 
the presents brought to the capital as the essential 
part of a foreign mission, and that foreigners, 
especially foreigners coming from distant countries 
and arriving with curiosities of a certain value, 
were readily received as tribute-bearers adding 
to the glory of the most powerful empire, f The 
accounts of the countries of Central and Western 
Asia contained in the dynastic histories exhibit / 
a certain uniformity inasmuch as certain classes ^ 

of geographical facts are represented in them with 
soiae.r§|[vlarity. It looks as if the foreigner, on or 
before being introduced at Court, was subjected 
to a kind of cross-examination, and that a uniform 
set of questions was addressed to him by means 
of one or seyeraLinterpreters (ch*ung-i S ^l- 
Thus, if a merchant came from Ceylon to Annam, 
accompanied by a Ceylonese interpreter who 
understood Greek, the trading language of the 



Indian ports visited by western merchants,^ and 
thence proceeded to Chang-an (or Hsi-an-fu) 
with an Annamese who was familiar with the 
language spoken at Ceylon, and another Annamese 
who understood Chinese, these three interpreters 
would have been able to mediate at the 
exapiination. J The questions asked were, perhaps, 
of the following kind: (i) What is the name of 
your country? (2) Where is it situated? (3) How 
many li does it measure? (4) How many cities 
has it ? (5) How many dependent states ? (6) How 
is the capital built? (7) How many inhabitants 
live in the capital? (8) What are the products 
of your country? etc., etc., and finally, What 
else can you tell us about your country? This, 
I presume, is the origin of the notes in the' 
y^ih-lt^ which we must assume to have been 
the basis of our Hsi-jrfl accounts. The historical 
writers did not, of course, confine their work to 
copying these chronicles. They were men of 
literary merit and, as masters of the historical 
style, had to arrange the facts they found simply 
stated into a sort of narrative. This involved 
that reports derived from other sources should 
not be despised. Hence the occasional episode 

commencing with "yu-yiin" (%, 7C), "it is said by 
some that, etc." The Ta-ts'in account in 
the Hou'han-shu especially, as I have already 
suggested, may have been enlarged by what was 

^ Reinaud, Relations Politiques et Cammerciales de F Empire Remain 
aoic FAsie Orientale, Paris 1863, p. 162. 


then known of the results of Kan Ying*s engipLine^Sj 
who had, in A.D. 97, been sent on a mission to 
Ta-ts*in by his chief, the general Pan Ch*ao. 
Kan Ying, it will be seen hereafter, only reached 
JX^iafitshjh^ on the coast of the Persian Gulf, 
whence a regular trafl&c by sea was carried on 
to-tlu^yrian port Aelana, in the Gulf of Akabah, 
at the head of the Red Sea. Kan Ying, who 
came into immediate contact with the sailors 
who were in the habit of making that journey, 
has certainly had the best opportunity for 
collecting information regarding the object of 
his mission. But apart from this, it is very likely 
that at the Court of Parthia which, prior to 
the Romans taking possession of Syria again in 
B.C. 38, i.e.^ just 135 years before Kan Ying^s 
journey, had ruled over that country for several 
years, information regarding Ta-ts*in could be 
easily obtained. This must have been prominently 
the case with Ta-ts'in products and articles of 
trade which came to China through Parthian 

The San-kuo-chih (~ @ J^), ^'Memoir of the 
Three Kingdoms," compiled by Ch*6n Shou (^ ^), 
who died A.D. 297, * comprises the history of the 
three contemporaneous states of Wei, Shu, and Wu. 
That^f Wei contains a meagre account of some of 

1 Mayers, Chinese Reader's Manual, p. 33. Note the discrepancy 
in representing Ch'Sn Shou's position vis-ii-vis the Wei dynasty 
whose part he took, in Mayers (1. c.) and Wylie, Chinese Literature, 
p. 14. 


the less distant countries, the incompleteness of 
which, as that of the whole work, caused the 
Emperor W6n-ti of the earlier Sung dynasty to 

order P'ei Sung-chih (|8| ^ >S) to compile a new 
edition, embodying^ into Ch'6n Shou's text, which 
had been written but about 130 years prior to 
himself, whatever pertinent notes he could find 
in other contemporaneous authors. It is to this 
fact that we are indebted for the most detailed 
account we possess of the country of Ta-ts4ri. 
P'ei Sung-chih's edition was submitted to the 
Emperor, as the Preface shows, in the 6th year 
(' of his reign, i.e.^ A.D. 429. The work from which 
/ this geographical account is quoted is the Wei-lio 
j\ (^^), ue., '^Abridged History of the Wei 
Dynasty," by YU Huan J^ ^), which must have 
been written between the end of the Wei dynasty, 
ix.y A.D. 264, and the time when P'ei Sung-chih 
prepared his commentary, i.e., previous to 
A.D. 429. I am not prepared to say whether this 
work exists at the present day, but I am inclined 
to believe that it does not, and that we must be 
contented with the extracts given from it in other 
works. The catalogue of the Imperial Library at 
Peking {Ssu-k^U'Ch^ilan'Shu-ts^ung-mu) is silent 
upon the subject, whereas works compiled during 
the Ming djrnasty, like the Pen-ts^ao-kang-mUy 
mention the title as that of one of the authorities 
consulted, and the Lei-shu, or encyclopedical works, 
quote under its name passages (relating to Ta-ts'in, 
for instance) which deviate somewhat from the 


text inserted into P'ei Sung-chih's commentary 
so as to make me think that another text of 
the Weulio has existed not too long ago. This 
assumption is strengthened in so far as Ma 
Tuan-lin's account of Ta-ts4n (ch. 339), which 
is identical with that of the Wei4io in numerous 
details, contains certain extensions in the text, 


thus suggesting the idea that either MaJjaanJitt- \ 
has had before him a text of the Wei-lio more 
complete than that quoted in the San-kuo-chih 
is at the present day, or that both Ma Tuan-lin 
and the Wei-lio drew from one common 
source anterior to the latter. I have to say 
that Ma Tuan-lin here, as in his other geographical 
accounts, refrains from stating the name of the 
work from which he has drawn his information. 
Such as it is, the enlarged edition of the San- 
kuO'Chih furnishes information regarding Tia-ts4n 
which I is not only quite as complete, but also « 
quite a^ old, as that of the Hsi-yfl chapter in 
the Hou-han-shu. The Wei-lio account abounds 
with statements not found in the other standard 
histories, the authors of which apparently despised 
this compilation, if they were at all aware of 
its existence ; and yet, if we allow for some con- 
fusion made in the geography of dependent 
states, in the directions of the compass, distances, 
etc., we find no cause to look at these accounts 
with more suspicion than at any of the other 
early records. Regarding these we cannot possibly 
expect greater accuracy in an ancient Chinese 




work than we find in an ancient western authority, 
say Ptolemy, especially if we consider what 
monstrous deviations from reality may be seen in 
the sketches of India and the whole East in maps 
as recent even as Edrisi's (A.D. 1154; ^^^ Peschel, 
Gesch. d. Erdk.^ ed. Ruge, Mflnchen, 1877, p. 145). 
The fact of Ma Tuan-lin's text being partly based 
on either the Wei-lio or some other text very 
similar to that of the Wei-lio shows that Chinese 
critics of high reputation did not always follow 
the example set by court historians. . 

The next history in the Chinese standard list 
is the Chin-shu (^ §), compiled by Fang Ch*iao 
(P ^), who died A.D. 648. Its Ta-ts*in account 
is mainly a reproduction of what we have learned 
in the Hou-han-shu; nor diO vjq find much novel 
information in the following Shih, the Sung-shu 
(^ ^), which is probably a century older than 
the former, since its author Sh6n Yo ("^ ^) 
died in A.D. 513. The Nan-chH-shu (]^^^) 
contains a short account of foreign countries which 
\ does not, however, extend as far as Ta-ts'in. 
The same remark would apply \.o ^^ Liang-shu 
(|^ ^), compiled early during the 7th century 
A.D., but for a few pertinent notes in a description 
of India (Chung T*ien-chu) and a short account 
of the reception of a merchant from Ta-ts4n at 
the court of Sun-ch'iian, the founder of the Wu 
dynasty, in A-P- ^^6. I have searched for further 
details regarding this traveller in the older 
History of Wu contained in the San-kuo-chih^ 


but without result. In going through the minor 
histories I found the first account of some value 
in the Wei-shu (^^), the history of the northern 
Wei dynasty (A.D. 386-556). Although this 
account repeats many of the statements of the 
HoU'han-shu and the Wei-liOy in accordance 
with the Chinese method observed up to the 
present day, by which all that was recognized as 
true hundreds of years ago must be true for ever, 
and thus may be quoted without further scrutiny, 
there are in it signs of independent information 
having been received in China since those earlier 
accounts were compiled. The history of the same 
dynasty (the northern Wei) is the subject of a later 

work, the Pei-shih [ifC, ^)j which contains an 
almost literal reproduction of what we find in 
the Wei'shu. Of the histories preceding the 

Pei-shih I merely mention the Sui-shu (P§ §),^ 
embracing the period A.D. 581-617, because I 
found in it the first trace of the new name under 
which the country of Ta-ts4n was known there- 
after, viz., Fu-lin (^^p^^ There is no description 
in this book of either Ta-ts4n or Fu-lin, but in an 
account of Persia (ch. 83), I found it stated that 
** Fu-lin is 4,500 li north-west of that country." 
The next important account is that of the 
ChHu T^ang'shu (^H^), 2>., the *' Old History 


* The Ta-fang'hsi-yu-chi (translated by Julien in MSmoires de 
Hiouen Thsang, see Livre XI, p. i8o) ch. ii, p. 23, mentions the 

kingdom of Fu-lin ( j^ '^), which is merely another way of writing 
that name. The work referred to was completed in A.D. 646. 


of the T'ang dynasty," which work was remodelled 
during the nth century and republished under 

the name Hsin T^ang-shu (5^ ^ ^) or " New 
History of the T^ang dynasty." The account of 
Fu-lin — for under this name we have now to look 
for the ancient Ta-ts*in — contained in the latter 
supplements the former, and vice versa, although 
many of the facts stated are identical apart from 
the difference in the style of language used in 
describing them. It may look pedantic to lay 
stress on two almost identical reports clothed in 
different language, but it is, in reality, quite 
necessary to make the most out of every Chinese 
sentence we can hunt up in ancient authors 
relating to one and the same fact. By pursuing 
this method we not only glean a number of minor 
facts which may be contained in one account while 
being omitted in the other, but we also succeed 
in overcoming many of the difficulties of the text. 
Many passages would be quite unintelligible to 
European and Chinese scholars alike, if we did 
not find the key for their correct meaning in 
parallel sentences conveying the same idea in 
diflferent words. I could mention numerous 
instances of mistakes made in the translations 
relating to Ta-ts4n and Fu-lin by de Guignes, 
Visdelou, Pauthier and others, which they 
would perhaps have avoided had they adopted 
the method of elij&iating the meaning of 
diflScult passages by comparison with the corre- 
sponding passages in other accounts. This remark 


refers especially to the accounts of Fu-lin con- 
tained in the Old and the New History of the 
T'ang dynasty. The Sungshih (^ _^), the work 
of T^o-t^o (flSl flSl), a Chinese author of Mongol 
birth, is known amongst the literati for its want 
of accuracy ; and we have to read its account of 
Fu-lin with a certain caution. This account is, 
however, otherwise very important to us, as it 

contains none but independent infprmation, and 
does not, like, the T^ang-shuy fall back on the 
tradition of former histories, thus leaving us 

entkely in doubt whether the facts stated refer 
to the period of the dynasty (T^ang) or to 
some former epoch lying 500 years farther back. 
The final account in the Twenty-four Shih is 

that in the Ming Shih ^ ^. Its main features 
are the tenor of a manifesto handed by the 
Emperor T'ai-tsu to a merchant from Fu-lin for 
transmission to his sovereign, and the mention of 
the first modern Christian missionary, Matthaeus 
Ricci, having arrived in China. 

I ajn not aware of many descriptions of either 
Ta-ts*in or Fu-lin, which may be considered 
authorities, having appeared apart from those 
contained in the twenty-four dynastic histories. 
The Nestorian inscription (A.D. 781) contains 
an account of Ta-ts*in, drawn up in truly lapidary 
style ; and the various encyclopedical works (Lei- 
shu) frequently allude to the country in quotations 
derived from minor works which are either lost, 




or not procurable, or forming part of a Ts'urig-shu 
or *' Collection of Reprints," such as the Wu-shih- 
wat'kuo'chuan, ^ ^ ^\ Wi % (^'Account of^ 
Foreign Countries at the Time of Wu," — 
3rd century A.D.), or the Nan-fang-ts^ao-mu- 
chuang ^ >^ ^ ]^ )[^, a work on the plants, etc., 
of southern countries. 

Foremost amongst the Cyclopedias (though not 
classed with the Lei-shu by the Chinese) is the 
Wen-hsien-fung-k^ao (^ jH^ 'M ^)j th^ 
celebrated work of Ma Tuan-lin. Its chapters 
regarding foreign countries (ch. 324, seqq.) may 
be interesting enough to a Chinese reader who 
wishes to learn some of the wonderful tales 
told at one time or another of each country 
enumerated, but they are of little use to the 
critical student. Whatever the merits of this 
much-admired^ compilation may be otherwise, 
its geographical section does not satisfy the foreign 
reader, and we cannot but wonder how a Chinese 
scholar like R^musat could find no better 
authorities for his subject,^ although he had spent 

*— ■■ I— ■■ " ■■ » *■ I - ■■ " ■ ■ ■ — I I I — ■ I ■ y 11 .1.1 ^■■■ w . I ■ .. — ■ ■ ,■■■■ -I ■ ■ II ■ ■■ ^i>» « .. ■ ■ ■ .1 ■■■ ■ » 

1 Vide Remusat's panegyric "Ma Touan-lin, savant Chinois" in 
Nouv. Melanges AsiatiqueSj Vol. II, p. i66. 

3 "Sur quelques Peuples du Tibet et de la Boukharie, tire de 
Touvrage de Ma Touan-lin, et traduit du Chinois." Nouv. Melanges 
Asiatiques, Vol. I, p. i86. The Marquis d'Hervey de St. Denys 
has lately commenced translating the geographical portion of 
Ma Touan-lin's work under the title " Ethnographie des peuples Strangers 
i la Chine, — ouvrage composS au Xllle siecle de notre ere par 
Ma Touan-lin, traduit pour la premiere fois du Chinois avec un 
commeniaire perpetueiy I regret not having seen this work. 



several years in studying it, according to his 
own saying. Like nearly all the material contained 
in the Win-hsien-fung-k^aOy the notices of foreign 
countries, including accounts of Ta-ts'in and of 
Fu-lin, are compiled from the histories ; but the 
author generally leaves us entirely in the dark as to 
the authority from which his text is drawn, 
which is, indeed, a great shortcoming to everyone 
anxious to know in what century it was written. 
A great part of Ma Tuan-lin's remarks anent 
Ta-ts*in is apparently derived from th^ Wei'liq 
or from some other records, perhaps even 
older than the Wei- Ho but based on the 
same information as the latter, whereas other 
parts remind again of the Hou-han-shu. The 
wording of his text is often slightly altered from 
that of the text he copies as it may be traced in the 
literature now existing ; it therefore serves in many 
cases as a sort of commentary to the texts of ancient 
records, for, as I have already intimated, many of the 
linguistic difficulties of the latter, which at first 
sight look quite unsurmountable, disappear if we 
see the same idea expressed in different words. 
Some valuable information is contained in the 
Chu'fan-chih (^ ^ ^), an account of various 
foreign countries, by Chao Ju-kua (^t^^) of 
the Sung dynasty. I copied the text of the 
Fu-lin portion from an edition contained in a 
"collection of reprints" entitled HsiaO'chtn-chi- 
yuan (^^^tij' J^). It is, no doubt, the identical 
text of which the extract quoted in Hue's 



Le Christianisme en ChinCy Vol. I, p. 74, and 
Pauthier's, pp. 51 to 53, in his work De 
T Autheniicite de rinscription nestorienney etc., 
were meant to contain a translation. I cannot, as far 
as Ta-ts*in is concerned, agree with the Imperial 
Catalogue {Ssu-k'n-ch^uan'Shu-tsung-mUy ch. 71, 
p. 9) in assuming that Chao Ju-kua collected all 
his information from personal inquiry while being 
employed as an official in the salt gabel in the 
province of Fu-kien. A superficial comparison of 
the ChU'fan-chih with what has been said about 
Ta-ts4n and Fu-lin in former records will show 
that by far the greater part of Ju-kua's notes is 
derived from the Han and T^ang records.^ On 
the other hand, it must be admitted that certain 
notes look like independent statements, inasmuch 
as they cannot be discovered in any previous 
work. But even these we may suspect to have 
been copied from older books which may not 

1 The passages R 6, lo to 15, and 20, 21 and 23 {see the translation 
following), for instance, are clearly derived from the Hou-han-shu; and 
the information contained in R 7, 27 and 31 can be easily traced to the 
T*ang-shu accounts. The author of the review of the Chu-fan-chih 
contained in the Imperial Catalogue, says himself that, owing to the 
great distance of Ta-ts'in and T'ien-chu, it should be assumed that 
Ju-kua did not come into immediate contact with natives of those 
countries; but he draws attention to a quotation from the Ts^i-fu- 
yuan-luH (flj jjj 5Cl H* completed A.D. 1013, see Wylie, p. 147), 
according to which the adherents of the Yao (|^) religion, styled 
Ta-ts'in-shih (;^ ^ ^, church of Ta-ts'in) during the T'ang period, 
are identical with the Hai-liao (^ ^, lit. sea-hunters, sea-tribes) 
mentioned in the THng-shik (^ ^, see Wylie, p. 158). This would 
insinuate that a foreign tribe on the coast of Kuang-tung, called 
Hai-liao, was in the possession of traditions regarding its native 
country, Ta-ts'in or Fu-lin. 


exist now but may have been consulted by Chao 
Ju-kua. We possess no direct record as to the 
period during which this author lived or wrote, 
but in the Imperial Catalogue^ 1. c, reference 
is made to a genealogical table in the Sung-shih^ 
which contains his name, and from which it 
appears that he was a descendant from a member 
of the Imperial family of the Sung, whose real 
name was Chao (^), just as HohenzoUern is the 
name of the kings of Prussia, and that he was 
born after the eighth generation dating from T'ai- 
tsung, t.e.^ after the middle of the twelfth century. 
The ^Xatalogue" further states that, foreign ships 
being allowed to trade at the southern ports 
under the southern Sung dynasty, his position 
as Inspector of Salt Gabel brought him into 
frequent contact with foreigners who supplied 
him with accounts of the countries they came 
from. The title given him was that of Shih-po 
(rfe" j|6), which may be translated by ** Superin- 
tendent of Sea Trade." The Hsu-wen-hsien- 

tung'¥ao (^ ^ jUt M -^); the continuation of 
Ma Tuan-lin's work, quoted in the Yuan-chien- 
lei'han^ ch. no, p. 33, states that the title Shih-po, 
in connection with the superintendence of salt 
and revenue matters, was first used in Fu-kien 
during the 14th year of Chih-yiian, and was 
abolished again in order to be replaced by the 
title Yen-yiin-ssu, the term used at the present 
day for a Collector of Salt Taxes, in the 24th year 
of the same period. This may possibly give us 


a clue as to the time when Chao Ju-kua collected 
the information for his work ; for the time during 
which alone the post said to have been held by 
him existed in Fu-kien, extends from A.D. 1277 
to 1287. Both time and locality seem to be in 
favour of the theory here advanced, of the 
principal information collected with regard to 
foreign countries during the Sung and Yiian 
period originating there and then. An official 
of the class described would most probably have 
been stationed at the port of Chinchew or Ch^uan- 
chou-fu, for some time the provincial capital. 
Whether this city or Phillips' Geh-kong was the 
Zayton of Marco Polo's days (see y. jR. G. S. 
XLIV, p. 97, seqq.), there seems to be evidence 
that just during the ten years A.D. 1277 to 1287,— 
the period when, owing to the change of dynasties 
and the weakness resulting from warfare in the 
interior the exclusive policy of the government 
could not be carried on with the usual energy,- 
foreign trade was flourishing there more than at 
other times. I quote from Yule's reply to Phillips' 
** Notices of Southern Mangi" in y. jR. G. S., 
1. c, p. 107: 

**In 1282, envoys arrived from sundry kings of 
India, including one from Kulang, /.^., Coilom 
of Polo, or Quilon {Gaubily p. 196)." 

**In 1286, vessels arrived at T^swanchau from 
more than 90 foreign states, the names of several 
of which that are given belong to Sputhern and 
Western India {Gaubil^ p. 205)." 


Marco Polo's visit to that neighbourhood must 
have taken place soon after that period. The 
ports of Fu-kien were then, however, no longer 
in the hands of the Sung, who were driven 
by the advancing Mongols into the Kuang-tung 
province ; and if the two facts, viz., that of 
Ju-kua's having been a member of the Sung 
family, and that of his having occupied the post 
referred to, can be proved, there is room for the 
suspicion that he may have maintained his position 
after the fall of his dynasty by voluntarily sub- 
mitting to the- Mongol enemy. 

According to the "Catalogue," the chapters 
regarding foreign countries in the Sung-shih are 
partly based on the information contained in the 
Chu'fan-chih^ as the latter work contained more 
geographical detail than the court archives. 

The great cyclopedia in 5,000 volumes, the 
T^U'ShU'Chi'Ch^eng^^ in its account of Ta-ts4n and 

1 Its complete title is ChHn-ting-ku-chin'fu-shu-chi-ch*Sng\Wi S 
ifir ^ H V ^ JSR)- Some valuable notes regarding it will be 
found in Mayers, " Bibliography of the Chinese Imperial Collections 
of Literature," in China Review , Vol. VI, p. 218 seqq. Collectors of 
Chinese books will be glad to hear that a new edition of this gigantic 
work, a copy of which was bought for the Chinese library of the British 
Museum in 1877, is about to be published by the T'ung-w^n-shu-cha 
referred to on p. 8. It will be a facsimile reproduction in the size ot 
20 characters per column of sf ins. Engl., i.e.^ about three quarters the 
size of the original, and the price fixed for the complete work 
(Shanghai Taels 36o=«;^90) seems exceedingly low if we consider that 
as much as Tls. 14,000 or ;^3,500 sterling has been asked for a 
complete copy (cf. Mayers, /. c, p. 222). The T'U'Shu-chi-ch^ing is 
supposed to embrace all the standard works of Chinese literature of all 
ages up to the time of its being compiled, i.e., the end of the 17th 


Fu-lin, quotes about all that may be found with 
regard to the subject in the standard histories 
and other works, and, by naming the work from 
which each quotation is derived, becomes infinitely 
more useful than Ma Tuan-lin's compilation, whose 
labours, as well as all the cyclopedias published 
up to the time of K*ang-hsi, appear to be almost 
superseded by this work. Next to collecting one's- 
self the original passages regarding any special sub- 
ject, the study of this exhaustive digest will probably 
be found the most useful source of information; 
and it seems that those who have access to the 
T^U'ShU'Chi'Meng need not trouble much about 
the minor compilations. If such works as Ma 
Tuan-lin's, the Yilan-chien-lei-han^ etc., yet play 
a conspicuous part in sinological research, it is 
because the larger work has not been accessible. 
I have just been allowed to open the volume 
containing the chapter that interests me {Ta-tsHn- 
pU'hui'k^ao^ "^ ^ i^ ^ ^) ii^ ch. 60 of section 
XIII in the 12th division of the General Index, 
which alone consists of 20 volumes), and was 
agreeably surprised to find nearly all the passages 
regarding my subject, the collecting of which 
had claimed a considerable part of my time and 
attention, placed together in chronological order. 
The compiler of the Ta-ts^in account in the 
T^U'ShU'Chi'Ch^eng quotes from Fa Hsien's JPu- 
kuO'Chi^ details regarding a country called Ta-ch'in 

(M ?^)« Ii^ applyiiig this name to our Ta-ts4n, 

1 Cf. Giles, Record of the Buddhistic Kingdoms ^ ch. XXXV, p. 86. 


he is apparently led by the identity in sound and 
no other motive, for the information embodied 
in this chapter of the Buddhistic traveller is as 
heterogeneous with regard to the general tradition 
as possible. If we cannot explain the account of 
**a monastery of the former Buddha Chia-yeh, 
made by hollowing out a great rock," as a fanciful 
description of buildings seen in the city of Petra, 
there will be little hope of connecting Fa Hsien's 
Ta-ch4n with that of the historical writers. 

I have collected from the various historical 
works above referred to all the accounts of 
Ta-ts^in and Fu-lin written during the period 
extending from the Former Han dynasty up to that 
of the Ming, i.e., between the first and seventeenth 
centuries A.D., and also a few other texts which 
seemed necessary in order to understand certain 
clues as to the route leading to that country at 
certain periods. I now oflFer a set of translations of 
all these accounts, the greater part of which is 
translated pour la premiere fois^ whereas those 
which had been previously translated by others have 
been thoroughly revised, and in some passages, sadly 
misunderstood by former translators, may pass as 
independent versions altogether. If these notes 
were written for linguistic purposes, the explana- 
tion of errors committed by others would furnish 
a useful grammatical chapter, but as grammar 
is, at present, not the object in view, I shall 
confine myself to drawing attention to such 
misunderstandings in the Chinese text which 


may possibly be used as arguments in the 
identification of the country. The following 
example will show the necessity of such a 
procedure. The description of Ta-ts4n as given by 
von Richthofen {Chtna^ Vol. I, p. 473) contains 
the following words : ** Die Hauptstadt hat 100 // 
im Umfang und enthalt zehn Palaste, die je 10 // 
von einander entfernt sind, am Wasser /zegen und 
von Sdulen getragen werden^ Von Richthofen 
borrows this passage from de Guignes' Histoire 
Generale des Huns [Vol. I, Part IT, p. LXXVIII], 
who translates from the Hou-han-shu (cf. the 

passages E 13 to 15 of my translation): ** La 
capitale a 100 li de circonf^rence. H y a cinq 
palais ^ \o li de distance Tun de Tautre. lis sont 
sur le bord de Veau et soutenus sur des colonhesy 
The Chinese text reads: "^^^liXi^l^^i^ 

I (Kung-shih chieh i shui-ching wei chu), which 

; means that *4n the palaces columns are made 

with crystal." De Guignes' translation is one 

' out of manv mistakes he has committed. The 

' reason why it interests us is not the desire to 

see errors exposed, but that von Richthofen 

has been grossly misguided by it. Th 3 celebrated 

traveller conjectures that the authority from 
which de Guignes translated (the Han Annals) 
is probably of later origin than we usually assume 

it to be, because the mention made of palaces 
borne by columns and bordering on the water- 

\^ side answers better a description of Constantinople 


than one of Rome.^ Such a blunder as the one 
made by de Guignes in the passage referred to 
would be unpardonable to anyone who has studied 
Chinese in the days of Schott, Julien, Zottoli, 
and von der Gabelentz ; but we should not forget 
that when de Guignes' work appeared (A.D. 1756) 
even the elementary rules of Chinese composition 
were a mystery to most of the European scholars, 
whose translations were often nothing better than 
a sort of mosaic-work, badly cemented by their 
imagination ; translations of Chinese characters, not 
of Chinese sentences. I have selected the above 
example as a warning to writers who, not knowing 
Chinese themselves, may wish to make use of 
the translations of others. Most of the translations 
made previous to R^musat have to be used with 
great caution, and what even such of our modern 
dilettanti may bring about who persistently neglect 
to make use of the grammatical helps furnished by 
others, could be demonstrated in almost every 
translation of Pauthier's, whose admirable zeal 
in all matters connected with oriental research 
was coupled with a strange incomprehension in 
linguistic questions. I shall refrain from adding 
to Julien's criticisms, though a good collection of 
strange renderings may be made from Pauthier's 
two works pertaining to our subject,^ leaving it 

' " Es liegt vielleicht zum Theil ein Irrthum betreffs des Alters 
der Quelle vor, der die Stelle entnommen ist ; denn die Nachricht von 
den sSulengetragenen, am Wasser liegenden Palasten passt besser auf 
Constantinopel als auf Rom." See 1. c, p. 473, note. 

9 See note 3 on p. 6. 


to those interested in the linguistic features of 
each difficulty to draw comparisons if they care 
to do so. I may, however, be allowed to say 
that new translations based on the comparative 
study of various texts seemed to me an absolute 
necessity to anyone who wished to arrive at an 
opinion with regard to Ta-ts^in, and that the 
existence of certain French versions by de Guignes, 
Visdelou (by far the best), and Pauthier, though 
carefully examined, has been of very little use 
to me as a basis. I have endeavoured to do my 
best in rendering literally; yet, in many cases 
I have to claim the indulgence of those who, 
after me, may find time and inclination to subject 
the difficult parts of these texts to a more thorough 
scrutiny than I have been able to do. I have 
had the courage to work my way through some 
rather obscure passages of ancient Chinese. I 
must confess that I did not allow myself to be 
detained too long by these difficulties ; but I 
possess the boldness, too, not possessed by all 
translators from the Chinese, to supply my critics 
with the Chinese text itself. I shall be glad to 
be corrected if found wrong, as I shall be open 
to every argument against my own views if it 
helps to reveal the truth. 





In order to allow of the information contained 
in these translations being readily analysed, I 
have placed above every portion of it, as well 
as above each of the corresponding portions of the 
Chinese text following, a Roman capital letter, and 
have numbered the paragraphs in each section. 
In quoting, capital letters will have the meaning 
described hereafter. 

Most of the Dynastic Histories are divided into 
three sections : the ti-chi (*^^) or "annals of the 
emperors," the chih (^) or "statistical essays," 
and the chuan (^) or lieh-chuan (^ij ^) or 
"biographical, ethnographical, etc., notices" (cf. 
Wylie, Chinese Literature^ p. 12). Each of these 
sub-divisions has its own series of numbers attached 

to the various chapters or chiian (^), so that a 
chiian may be quoted by two numbers, viz.^ the 
current number it holds in the complete work, 
and the series number of the sub-division it belongs 
to. As anyone who is not aware of this dis- 
tinction must find it difficult to work his way in 
these bulky histories, I have, in the following list, 
inserted both the general number (chiian =ch.) 
and that of the chuan or lieh-chuan. 


A=^Shih'Chi ^ fg, ch. 123: lieh-chuan, 63. 
^^ChHen-han-shu "MiH^* ch. 96A: chuan, 66a. 
C=HoU'han'Shu ^ '^ ^, ch. 86: chuan, 76. 
D=ibid. ch. 88: chuan, 78: T'iao-chih and An-hsi. 
E=ibid. ch. 88: chuan, 78: Ta-ts4n. 

¥=Chtn'Shu ^ ^, ch. 97: lieh-chuan, 67. 
G=Sung'Shu ^ ^, ch. 97: lieh-chuan, 57. 
}ii=Ltang'Shu ^ §, ch. 54: lieh-chuan, 48. 
l=^Wei'Shu ^ ^, ch. 102: lieh-chuan, 90. 

}^=^Chiu'fang'Shu ^ ^ ^, ch. 198: 

lieh-chuan," 148. 
Tu^Hsin-t^ang'Shu ^ j^ ^, ch. 221: 

lieh-chuan, 146B. 
M= Extract from the Nestorian inscription. 

N=Sung'Skt/i tIc ^) ch. 490: lieh-chuan, 249. 

O^Ming'Shih ^ ^, ch. 326: lieh-chuan: 214. 

Y==Wei'lio ^ ^, quoted in San-kuo-chih 

\^ H Wi Ml c^- 3P.- _. 

Q=Ma Tuan-lin's Wen - ^^^V;^ - ^*z^;^^ - k^ao 

^ i^ m #. ch. 339. 

R= Chu-fan-chih, ^ ||^ >^, Art. Ta-ts'in. 

translations: a-b. 35 


'hzchi^ written about B.C. 91; ch. 123: 


[i] When the first embassy was sent from China 
to An-hsi [Parthia], the king of An-hsi [Parthia] 
ordered twenty thousand cavalry to meet them 
on the eastern frontier. [2] The eastern frontier 
was several thousand li distant from the king's 
capital. [3] Proceeding to the north one came ^ 
across several tens of cities, with very many 
inhabitants, allied to that Country. [4] After 
the Chinese embassy had returned they sent forth 
an embassy to follow the Chinese embassy to 
come and see the extent and greatness of the 
Chinese Empire. [5] They oflfered to the Chinese 
court large birds'-eggs, and jugglers from Li-kan. 

{ChHen-han-shu^ written about A.D. 90, and 
embracing facts coming within the period B.C. 206 
to A.D. 25; ch. 96A, Hsi-yii-chuan : An-hsi-kuo.^) 

^ t5 nu M (Hsing-pei-chih). Julien, Histoire de la vie de Hiouen- 
thsangy Preface, p. XXXVII, seq., makes an artificial distinction in the 
translation of the two words f7 hsing and ^ chiht on the ground of 
a note found in an epilogue appended to the text of the Ta-fang-hsi- 
yU'Chi (ch. 12, p. 29), by which the former (hsing) is used in the sense 
of " to arrive at," if the traveller has visited the place referred to in 
person, whereas the latter (chih) insinuates that the traveller, in his 
account, speaks of localities he knows merely from hearsay. This 
rule is certainly of the greatest importance in the interpretations of 
Hstian-chuang's Journeys, but it would be useless to make the dis- 
tinction in these translations. 

2 Cf. Wylie's translation in "Notes on the Western Regions/' 
Journ, Anthropol, Inst, Aug. 1880. 


36 translations: b-c. 

[i] When the emperor Wu-ti [B.C. 140-86] 
first sent an embassy to An-hsi [Parthia], the 
king ordered a general to meet him on the 
eastern frontier with twenty thousand cavalry. 
[2] The eastern frontier was several thousand li 
distant from the king's capital. [3] Proceeding 
to the north one came across several tens of cities, 
the inhabitants of which were allied with that 
country. [4] As they sent forth an embassy to 
follow the Chinese embassy, they came to see the 
country of China. [5] They oflFered to the Chinese 
court large birds'-eggs, and jugglers from Li-kan, 
at which His Majesty was highly pleased. 

{Hou-han-shu^ partly written during the sth 
century A.D., and embracing the period A.D. 25 
to 220, ch. 86 : Nan-man-hsi-nan-i.) 

[i] During the 9th year [of Yung-yuan, 
A.D. 97] the barbarian tribes [man] outside the 
frontier and the king of the country of Shan/ 
named Yung-yu-tiao, sent twofold interpreters, 
and was endowed with state jewels. Ho-ti [the 
emperor, A.D. 89 to 106] conferred a golden 
seal with a purple ribbon, and the small chiefs 
were granted seals, ribbons, and money. - - - 
[2] During the ist year of Yung-ning [=A.D. 120] 

1 So pronounced and not Tan ; see scholion in the Chinese text 
and Ma Tuan-Hn, ch. 330, p. 11. The Tung-kuan-chi (]K ^ ^)^ 
speaking of the same country^ calls it Shan (|t); the old Yiln-nan' 
fung<hih prints fjp Tan like the Hou-han-shu, but Ma Tuan-lin's 
text 0* c.) has ||l Chan with the gloss referred to. 

translations: c-d. 37 

the king of the country of Shan, named Yung- ■ 
yu-tiao, again sent an embassy who, being received 
to His Majesty's presence, offered musicians and 
jugglers. The latter could conjure, spit fire, bind 
and,., release their limbs without assistance [? cf. 
P 21], change the heads of cows and horses, and 
were clever at dancing with up to a thousand 
balls. [3I They said themselves : ^^ We are me n 
from the west of the sea; the west of the sea is 
the same as Ta-ts^in. In the south-west of the 
country of Shan one passes through to Ta-ts4n."^ 
[4] At the beginning of the following year they 
played music at court with [or ** before"] An-ti 
[the emperor, A.D. 107 to 126], when Yung-yu- 
tiao was invested as a Ta-tu-wei [tributary prince?] 
of the Han empire by being granted a^.eal and a 
ribbon with gold and silver silk embroidered 
emblems, every one of which had its own meaning. 

[Hou-han-shu^ ch. 88: Hsi-yii-chuan, account 
of the countries of T4ao-chih and An-hsi.^) 

[I] The city of the country of T'iao-chih is 
situated on a hill [island, or peninsula, shun]] 
[2] its circumference is over forty li [3] and it 

1 This passage has probably led to the mistaken opinion of later 
Chinese writers that Shan was a country in the north-east of Ta-ts'in. 
See Porter Smith, Vocabulary of Chinese Proper Names^ p. 53, s. v. 

2 For translations of i to 9, considerably deviating from the 
present version, see Neumann, Asiat. Studien, p. 157, and R^musat, 
Nouv, Mil, Asiat. f I, p. 215. 





borders on the western sea. [4] The waters of 
the sea crookedly surround it. [5] In the south, 
[east], and north-east, the road is cut off;" only in 
the north-west there is access to it by means of a 
land-road. .^ [6] The country is hot and low. ^ 
[7] It produces lions, rhinoceros, fSng-niu £Zel^, 
Bos^indicus^], peacocks, and large birds [ostriches?] 
whose eggs are likeurn^. [8] If you turn to the north 
and then towards the east again go on horseback 
some sixty days, you come to An-hsi [Parthia], 


[9] to which afterwards it became subject as a 
vassal state under a military governor who had 
control of all the small cities. 

[10] The country of An-hsi [Parthia] has its 
residence at the city of Ho-tu, [u] it is 2S,ooo li 
distant from Lo-yang. [12] In the north it bounds 
on K*ang-chu, and in the south, on Wu-i-shsuiji. 
[13] The size of the country is several thousand li. 
[14] There are several hundred small cities with 
a vast number of inhabitants and soldiers. [15] On 
its eastern frontier is the city of Mu-lu, which is 
called Little An-hsi [Parthia Minor]. [16] It is 

^ iS (shih). This character is usually translated by " damp," but 
in this instance I am inclined to be guided by the ^rh-ya^ where it 

is explained by ^T* :K S, pei-hsia-chd-yaeh-shih: "a bank, being 
low, is called shih," to which a scholiast adds: "^^ 2p Q ^, hsia-p'ing 
yUeh hsi, "low and flat it is called hsi;" see Srh-ya, ^ J| ch. 9. Of 
a country 3,000 li south-east of T'ien-chu, the Wei-lio account, 
appended to ch. 30 of the San-kuo-chihy says that, ^ )ft -$> ^ ^ f|fe 
ch'i-ti-pei-shih-shu-j6, "this country is low and hot." This is the 
parallel phrase for shih-shu in the above sentence, and shows clearly 
that its translation should be in accordance with the explanation of 
the Strh-ya, 

3 See Bretschneider in Notes and Queries y Vol. IV., p. 60. 

translations: d. 39 

20,000 li distant from Lo-yang. [17] In the first 
year of Chang-ho, of the Emperor Chang-ti 
[=A.D. 87], they sent an embassy oflFering lions 
and fu-pa. [18] The fu-pa has the shape of a 
lin (unicorn), J)ut has no horn. [19] In the 9th 
year of Yung-yiian of Ho-ti [=A.D. 97] the tu-hu 
(general) Pan Ch'ao sent Kan-ying as an ambas- ' 
sador to Ta-ts4n, who arrived in T4ao-chih, on the '" 

iwmn** fill UI..W ' y 

coast of the great sea. [20J When about to take ^ 

his . passage across the sea, the sailors of the \ 

western frontier of An-hsi [Parthia] told Kan- \ 

ying: '^The sea is vast and great; with favourable 

winds it is possible to cross within three months ; 

but if you meet slow winds, it may also take you 

two years. It is for this reason that those who 

go to sea take on board a supply of three years' 

provisions. There is something in the sea which 

is apt to make man home-sick, and several have 

thus lost their lives." When Kan-ying heard this, 

he stopped. [21] In the 13th year [A.D. 10 1] 

the king of An-hsi [Parthia], Man-k'ii, again 

oflFered as tribute lions and large birds from T*iao- 

qhih [ostriches], which henceforth were named 

An-hsi-iliiao [Parthian birds]. [22]. From An-hsi 

[Parthia] you go west 3,400 li to the country 

of A-man ; from A-man you go west 3,600 li 

to the country of Ssii-pin ; from Ssii-pin you 

go south, crossing a river [or by river], and 

again south-west to the country of Xu-lp, 960 li, 

the extreme west frontier qf An-hsi: from here 

you travel south by sea, and so reach Ta-ts*in. 

40 translations: eke. 

[23] In this country there are many of the precious 
and rare things of the western sea. 


f [Hou-han-shu^ ch. 88: Hsi-yii-chuan, — the first 
principal account of Ta-t*sin.^) 

[i] The country of Ta-ts4n is also called Li- 
chien (Li-kin) and, as being situated on .,Jthe 
western part of the sea, Hai-hsi-kuo [i.e.^ "country 
of the western part of the sea"].\ [2] Its territory 
amounts to several thousand li; [3] it contains 
over four hundred cities, [4] and of dependent 
states there are several times ten. [5] The 
defences of cities are made of stone. [6] The 
postal stations and mile-stones on thef roads 
are covered with plaster. [7] There are pine 
and C3rpress trees and all kinds of other trees 
and plants. [8] The people are much bent on 
agriculture, and practice the planting of trees and 
the rearing of silk-worms. [9] They cut the hair 
of their heads, [10] wear embroidered clothing, 
[11] and drive in small carriages covered with white 
canopies; [12] when going in or out they beat 
drums, and hoist flags, banners, and pennants. 
[13] The precincts of the walled city in which 
they live measure over a hundred li in circum- 
ference. [14] In the city there are five palaces, 
ten li distant from each other. [15] In the palace 
buildings they use crystal to make pillars ; vessels 

1 Cf. translations by Visdelou in d'Herbelot's BibL Orient,, IV, 
p. 390, seqq.; and de Guignes, Hist, des Huns, Vol. II, p. LXVIII, seqq. • 

translations: e. 41 

used in taking meals are also so made. [16] The 
king goes to one palace a day to hear cases. After 
five days he has completed his round. [17] As a 
rule, they let a man with a bag follow the king's 
carriage. Those who have some matter to submit, 
throw a petition into the bag. When the king 
arrives at the palace, he examines into the rights 
and wrongs of the matter. [18] The official docu- 
ments are under the control of thirty-six chiang 
(generals?) who conjointly discuss government aflfairs. 
[19] Their kings are not permanent rulers, but 
they appoint men of merit. [20] When a severe 
calamity visits the country, or untimely rain-storms, 
the king is deposed and replaced by another. The 
one relieved from his duties submits to his degra- 
dation without a murmur. [21] The inhabitants 
of that country are tall and well-proportioned, 
somewhat like the Chinese, whence they are called 
Ta-ts*in. [22] The country contains much gold, 
silver, and rare precious stones, especially the 
** jewel that shines at night," ^^the moonshine 
pearl," the hsieh-chi-hsi,^ corals, amber, glass, laiig- 
kan [a kind of coral], chu-tan [cinnabar?], green 
jadestone [ching-pi], gold-embroidered rugs and 
thin silk-cloth of various colours. [23] They make 
gold-coloured cloth ^ and asbestos cloth. [24] They 
further have *'fine cloth," also called Shui-yang- 
ts*ui [t.e.j down of the water-sheep]; it is made 
from the cocoons of wild silk-worms. [25] They 
collect all kinds of fragrant substances, the juice 

Cf. Q 19, note. a Cf. P 4900: Chin-t'u-pu. 


of which they boil into su-ho (storax). [26] All 
the rare gems of other foreign countries come 

f^ from there. [27] They make coins of gold and 
silver. Ten units of silver are worth one of gold. 
[28] They traffic, by sea with An-hsi [Parthia] 
and T4en-chu [India], the profit of which trade 
is ten-fold. [29] They are honest in their transac- 
tions, and there are no double prices. [30] Cereals 
are always cheap. The budget is based on a well- 
filled treasury. [31] When the embassies of 
neighbouring countries come to their frontier, they 
are driven by post to the capital, and, on arrival, 
" are presented with golden money. [32] Their 
kings always desired to send embassies to China, 
but the An-hsi [Parthians] wished to carry on 
trade with them in Chinese silks, and it is for 
this reason that they were cut oflF from communi- 
cation. [33] This lasted till the ninth year of the 
'Yen-hsi period during the emperor Huan-ti's reign 
[=A.D. 166] when the king of Ta-ts*in, An-tun, 
sent an embassy who, from the frontier of Jih-nan 
[Annam] offered ivory, rhinoceros horns, and 

: tortoise shell.V; From that time dates the [direct] 
intercourse with this country. The list of their 

^tribute contained no jewels whatever, which fact 
throws doubt on the tradition. [34] It is said by 
some that in the west of this country there is the 

1 In the chronological part of the Hou-han-shu [the Ti-hou-chi 
^ ^ j|£, ch. 7, p. 4], the fact is recorded under the 9th month of 
that year (October A.D. 166). It appears that the journey from 
Ta-ts'in to Annam was performed during the summer months, when 
south-western winds prevail in those parts. 

\ ' 
\ . ■ 

translations: e-f. 43 

Jo-shui [*^weak water"] and the Liu-sha [*^flymg 
sands, desert*'] near the residence of the Hsi- 
wang-mu [** mother of the western king"], where 
the sun sets. [35] The [Ch^ien]-han-shu says : 
"From T'iao-chih west, going over 200 days, one 
is near the place where the sun sets"; this does not 
agr^e with the present book. [36] Former em- 
bassies from China all returned from Wu-i ; there 
were none who came as far as T4ao-chih. [37] It 
is further said that, coming from the land-road 
of An-hsi [Parthia], you make a round at sea and, 
taking a northern turn, come out from the western 
part of the sea, whence you proceed to Ta-ts4n. 
[38] The country is densely populated ; every ten 
li [of a road] are marked by a t^ng; thirty li by 
a chih [resting-place]. [3^] One is not alarmed by 
robbers, but the road becomes unsafe by fierce tigers 
and lions who will attack passengers, and unless 
these be travelling in caravans of a hundred men or 
more, or be protected by military equipment, they 
may be. devoured by those beasts. [40] They also 
say there is a flying bridge [fei-chiao] of several 
hundred li, by which one may cro3S to the countries 
north of the sea. [41] The articles made of rare 
precious stones produced in this country are sham 
curiosities and mostly not genuine, whence they 
are not [here] mentioned. 

{Chtn-shu^ written before the middle of 
the 7th century, and embracing the period 

44 translations: f. 

A.D. 265-419, ch. 97/ This account is mainly a 
repetition of that in the Hou-hanshu.) 

[I] Ta-ts4n, also called Li-chien [Li-kin], [2] is in 
the western part of the western sea. [3] In this 
country several thousand li in all directions of 
the compass are covered with cities and other 
inhabited places. [4] Its capital is over a hun_dred 
li in circumference. [5] The inhabitants use coral 
in making the kingposts of their dwellings ; [6] they 
use opaque glass in making walls, and crystal in 
making the pedestals of pillars. [7] Their king 
has five palaces. [8] The palaces are ten li distant 
from each other. [9] Every morning the king 
hears cases in one palace ; when he has finished 
he begins anew. [lo] When the country is visited 
by an extraordinary calamity, a wiser man is 
elected; the old king is relieved from his duties, 
and the king so dismissed does not dare to consider 
himself ill-treated. [11] They have keepers of 
official records and foreigners [interpreters] who 
are acquainted with their style of writing.^ 
[12] They have also small carriages with white 
canopies, flags, and banners, and postal arrange- 
ments, just as we have them in China. [13] The 
inhabitants are tall, and their faces resemble those 
of the Chinese, but they wear foreign dress. 
[14] Their country exports* much gold and pre- 
cious stones, shining pearls, and large conches ; they 

1 Cf. translation of an identical account, quoted from the T'ung^ 
tien (jj '^), by Pauthier, De Pauthefiticite, etc., p. 36. 

2 Interpreters were appointed to receive the ambassadors of the 
barbarians under Constantine. Gibbon, ch. XVII. 


have the ^^jewel that shines at night/* the hsieh- 
chi-hsi, and asbestos cloth; they know how to 
embroider cloth with gold thread and weave gold- 
embroidered rugs. [15] They make gold and 
silver coins; ten silver coins are worth one gold 
coin. [16] The inhabitants of An-hsi [Parthia] 
and T*ien-chu [India] have trade with them by 
sea; its profit is hundred-fold. [17] When the 
envoys of neighbouring countries arrive there, 
they are provided with golden money. [18] The 
water of the great sea which is crossed on the 
road thither is salt and bitter, and unfit for drink- 
ing purposes; the merchants travelling to and 
fro are provided with three years' provisions; 
hence, there are not many going. [19] At the 
time of the Han dynasty, the tu-hu Pan Ch^ao 
sent his subordinate officer Kan-ying as an envoy 
to that country; but the sailors who were going 
out to sea said, ^*that there was something about 
the sea which caused one to long for home ; those 
who went out could not help being seized by 
melancholy feelings ; if the Chinese envoy did not 
care for his parents, his wife, and his children, he 
might go." Ying could not take his passage. 
[20] During the T^ai-k*ang period of the emperor 
Wu-ti [=A.D. 280-290] their king seat an envoy 
to oflFer tribute. 


I [Sung'shu^ written about A.D. 500, and em- 
bracing the period A.D. 420-478, ch. 97]. 

46 translations: g-h. 

[i] As regards Ta-ts*in and T*ien-chu [India], 
far out on the western oceaji, we have to say that, 
although the envoys of the two Han dynasties* 
have experienced the special difficulties of this 
road, yet traffic in merchandise has been effected, 
and goods have been sent out to the foreign 
tribes, the force of winds driving them far away 
across the waves of the sea. [2] There are lofty 
[ranges of] hills quite diflferent [from those we 
know] and a great variety of populous tribes 
having different names and bearing uncommon 
designations, they being of a class quite different 
[from our own], [3] All the precious things of 
land and water come from there, as well as the 
gems made of rhinoceros' [horns] and king-fishers' 
stones,^ shfi-chu [serpent pearls] and asbestos 
cloth, there being innumerable varieties of these 
curiosities ; and also [the doctrine of] the abstrac- 
tion of mind [in devotion to] the lord of the 
world [shih-chu=Buddah]; — all this having caused 
navigation and trade to be extended to those parts. 


{^Liang-shu^ written about A.D. 629, and 
comprising the period A.D. 502-556, ch. 54: 
account of Chung T*ien-chu.] 

1 Chang Ch'ien and Pan Ch'ao. 

2 Ts'ui yti [!g Wi\ lit. " King-fishers', wings/* which, I presume 
stands for fei-ts'ui [iS^] or fei-ts'ui-yti, [^1*^2], a precious stone 
called chrysoprase in Bridgman's Chrestontathy (p. 430). Cf. Geerts, 
Les Produits de la Nature Japonaise et Chi7ioise, Vol. II., p. 465: 
"Jadeite; Jade vert aluminate; Jade fusible." The corresponding 
terms in the passages K 32, L 35 and P 498 may be similarly explained. 

translations: h. 47 

[i] In the west of it [viz., Chung T^en-chu, or 
India] they carry on much trade by sea to Ta-ts*in 
- and An-hsi [Parthia], [2] especially in articles of 
Ta-ts4n, such as all kinds of precious things, coral, 
amber, chin-pi [gold jadestone], chu-chi [a kind of 
pearls], lang-kan, Yti-chiri [turmeric?] and storax. 
[3] Storax ^ , is made by mixing and boiling the 
juice of various- fragrant trees ; it is not a natural 
• product. It is further said that the inhabitants of 
Ta-ts4n gather the storax [plant, or parts of it], 
squeeze its juice out, and thus make a balsam 
[hsiang-kao] ; they then sell its dregs to the 
traders of other countries ; it thus goes through 
many hands before reaching China, and, when 
arriving here, is not so very fragrant. [4] Yii-chin 
[turmeric ?] only comes from the country of 
•»', Chi-pin [=a country near tfee Persian gulf], etc., 
'^K etc. [5] In the 9th year of the Yen-hsi period 
of Huan-ti of the Han dynasty [=A.D. 166] the 
King of Ta-ts4n, An-tun, sent an embassy with 
tribute from the frontier of ^ih-nan £Annam]; 
during the Han period they have only once 
communicated [with China]. [6] The merchants 
of this country frequently visit ^^ji-nan [Siam, 
Cambqdja?^] Jih-nan [Annam] and Chiao-chih 
Tung-king] ; [7] but few of the inhabitants of these 
southern frontier states have come to Ta-ts*in. 
[8] During the 5th year of the Huang-wu period 

1 The Liang-shtif quoted in Hai-kuo-fu-chikf ch. 5, p. 15, says : 
" The country of Fu-nan lies on the great gulf in the west of the sea 
south of the principality of Jih-nan [Annam]." 

48 translations: h-i. 

of the reign of Sun-ch^iian [=:A.D. 226] a 
merchant of Ta-ts*in, whose name was Ts^in-lun, 
came to Chiao-chih [Tung-king]; the prefect 
[t*ai-shou] of Chiao-chih, Wu Miao, sent him to 
^^Ji^};;:^}:^^^ hhe Wu emperorj, who asked, him 
for a report on his native country and ijt§_p£ii2Ele. 
[9] Ts*in-lun prepared a statement, and replied. 
; [10] At the time Chu-ko K^o^ chastised_Tan- 
yang.^ and they had caught blackish coloured 
/dwarfs. When Ts4n-lun saw them he said that in 
Ta-ts4n these men are rarely seen. Sun-ch^iian 
then sent male and female dwarfs, ten of each, 
in charge of an officer, Liu Hsien of Hui-chi [a 
district in Ch^kiang], to accompany Ts4n-lun. 
Liu Hsien died on the road, whereupon Ts*in-lun 
returned direct to his native country. 


( WeZ's/iu, written previous to A.D. 572, and 
embracing the period A.D. 386-556, ch. 102: 
Hsi-yii-chuan. With one exception, this account 
is identical with one contained in the Pei-shih^ a 
revised history of the same dynasty.^) 

[i] The country of Ta-ts*in is also called Li-kan. 
, [2] Its capital is the city of An-tu: [3] From 
T*iao-chih west you go by sea, making a bent, ten 
thousand li. [4] From Tai [=Ta-t*ung fu?] it is 

1 Nephew to Chu-ko Liang, alias K'ung-ming. 

2 Tan-yang=Kiang-nan. 

3 Cf. translations by Visdelou in d'Herbelot, Bibl, Orisnt,, 
IV., p. 329, seqq., and Pauthier, De rauthenticite, etc., p. 39, seqq. 

translations: i. 49 

distant 39,400 li. [5] By the side of its sea one 
comes out at what is like an arm of the sea/ and 
that the east and the west [of the country] look 
into that arm of the sea is a natural arrangement. 
[6] Its territory amounts to sixjthousapjijij^^^ It 
ligs^bei3$ssaLi^.JS?s. [8] This country is peace- 
fully governed, and human dwellings are scattered 
over it like stars. [9] The royal capital is divided 
into five cities, each five li square; its circuit is 
60 li. [10] The king resides in the middle city, 
[i i] In the city [**each city of the four," — Visdelou] 
there are established eight high officials [ch6n] to 
rule over the four quarters [of the country] ; but 
in the royal city there are also established eight 
high officials who divide among themselves the 
government over the four cities. [12] When 
government matters are deliberated upon, and if 
in the four quarters [of the country] there are 
cases not decided, the high officials of the four 

1 P'o-hai Mff$' (WiWff$M:3C^ K'ang-hsi ; "a cove or 
small inlet," also "a large estuary," Williams, s, v, hiai (fflf) p. 187). 
Visdelou translates as follows: "Elle [la Ville Royale] est a 1,000 
lieues de distance et h, TOccident du Royaume de Thiao-chi (c*est 
peut-^tre I'Egipte), un golphe de la Mer entre deux. EUe est dloignee 
de 3,940 lieues de Tai (Ville Chinoise). Ce golphe de Mer s'etend 
au cdte du Tafin de la meme maniere que le golphe de Mer qui est 
entre la Chine et la Coree, et ces deux golphes sont a I'opposite 
Tun de Tautre, Tun tourne vers I'Orient, I'autre vers TOccident; 
ce qui, sans doute, est un efFet raisonne de la nature." A careful 
comparison with the Chinese text will show that Visdelou's transla- 
tion does not represent what the Chinese author wishes to say. 
However, even if he were correct in assuming that ''two gulfs" were 
spoken of, the one running east and the other west, this could only 
be- interpreted as applying to the gulfs of Suez and of Akabah. 



50 translations: i. 

cities hold a council at the king's place. [13] After 
the king has sanctioned their decision it is put 
into force. [14] Once in three years the king 
goes out to convince himself of the morality of 
the people. [15] If anyone has suflfered an 
injustice he states his complaint to the king who, 
in minor cases, will censure, but in important 
cases, will dismiss the country official [responsible 
for it], appointing a worthier man in his stead. 
[16] The inhabitants are upright and tall; their 
mode of dressing, their carriages and flags, resem- 
ble those of the Chinese, whence other foreign 
nations call them Ta-ts*in. [17] The country 
produces all kinds of grain, the mulberry tree and 
hemp. The inhabitants busy themselves with silk- 
worms and fields. [18] There is abundance of 
ch*iu-lin [a kind of jadestone]; lang-kan [a kind 
of coral]; sh6n-kuei [a kind of tortoise or its 
shell] ; white horses ; chu-lieh [lit. red bristles 
=a gem?]; ming-chu [shining pearls]; yeh-kuang- 
pi [the jewel that shines at night]. [19] South-east 
you go to Chiao-chih [Tung-king]. There is also 
connection by water with the principalities of Yi- 
chou [Yunnan] and Yung-ch*ang [near Bhamo]. 
[20] Many rare objects come from this country. 
[21] In the west of the water of the sea west of 
Ta-ts*in there is a river; the river flows south- 

west ; west of the river there are the Nan-pei-shan 
[north and south hills] ; west of the hills there is ' 
the Red Water ; west [of this] is the Pai-yfl-shan 
[White Jade Hill]; west of the Jade Hill is the 

translations: i-k. 51 

Hsi-wang-mu-shan [Hill of the Western King's 
Mother], where a temple is made of jadestone. 
[22] It is said that from the western boundary of 
An-hsi [Parthia], following the crooked shape of 
the sea [coast], you can also go to Ta-ts.^n, over 
40,000 li.* [23] Although in that country sun and 
moon, and the constellations, are quite the same 
as in China, former historians say that going a 
hundred li west of T*iao-chih you come to the 
place where the sun sets ; this is far from being 


\ChiU't^ang'Shu^ written towards the middle 
of the loth century A.D. and embracing the 
period A.D. 618-906, ch. 198^]. 

[i] The country of Fu-lin, also called Ta-ts4n, 
lies above the western .sea. [2] In the south- 
east it borders on Po-ssii [Persia], J [3] Its 
territory amounts- to over 10,000 li. [4] Of cities 
there are four hundred. [5] Inhabited places 
are close together. [6] The eaves, pillars, and 
window-bars of their palaces are frequently made 
with crystal and opaque glass. [7] There are 
twelve honourable ministers who conjointly re- 

iS K ^ M ssa-wan-yG-li. These words appear as j|@ H^M 
hui-wan-yO-li, in the text of the Pei-shth, meaning "bending around 
over ten thousand li" [cf. P 14], which is certainly by far the better 
tradition. Ma-tuan-lin, who has either had both texts, or the authority 
firom which they are both derived, before him, and who apparently 
copies this passage, also gave the preference to hui. See Q 64. 
» Cf. translation by Pauthier, Z?^ I Authenticite, etc., p. 42, seqq. 

52 translations: k. 

gulate government matters. [8] They ordinarily 
let a man take a bag and follow the king's carriage. 
When the people have a complaint they throw a 
written statement into the bag. When the king 
comes back to the palace be decides between 
right and wrong. [9] Their kings are not per- 
manent rulers, but they select men of merit. 
[10] If an extraordinary calamity visits the country, 
or if wind and rain come at the wrong time, he 
is deposed and another man is put in his stead. 
[11] The king's cap is shaped like a bird raising 
its wings; its trimmings are beset with precious 
pearls; he wears silk-embroidered clothing, with- 
out a lapel in front. [12] He sits on a throne 
with golden ornaments. [13] He has a bird like 
a goose ; its feathers are green, and it always sits 
on a cushion by the side of the king.^ Whenever 
anything poisonous has been put into the king's 
meals, the bird will crow. [14] The walls of their 
capital are built of stone [granite, not brick] and 

are of . enormous height. [15] The city contains 
in all over 100,000 households.* [16] In the south 

1 What may have induced Pauthier to translate: " il reste toujours 
aux cdtes du roi, et choisit quelquefois pour sibge le sommet de la 
tete du prince?" 

* ^ hu=households, to be distinguished from H k'ou, "mouths" 
or individuals. The number of households may have to be multiplied 
by 5 or 6 in order to obtain the number of inhabitants, if we may be 
safe in applying to this case the average number of individuals forming 
a household in China during the T'ang dynasty. The census taken for 
fiscal purposes in A.D. 740 fixes the population of China at 8,4121871 
households with 48,142,609 individuals. This yields an average of 5-6 
members to each household. (Hsin-fang-shu, ch. 37, Chih 27, p. 2 ; 
cf. SacharofF, Historische Uebersicht der Bevdlkerungs-Verhdlimsse 
China's, in Arbeiten der Rus$, Gcsandtschaft, German version by Abel, 
Vol. II, p. 152.) 

translations: k. 53 

it faces the great sea. [17] In the east of the 
city there is a large gate ; its height is over twenty 
chang [=over 235 feet]; it is beset with yellow 
gold ^ from top to bottom, and shines at a distance 
of several li. [18] Coming from outside to the 
royal residence there are three large gates beset 
with all kinds of rare and precious stones. [19] On 
the upper floor of the second gate they have 
suspended a large golden scale, twelve golden 
balls are suspended from the scale-stick by which 
the twelve hours of the day are shown. A human 
figure has been made all of gold of the size of a 
man standing upright, on whose side, whenever an 
hour has come, one of the golden balls will drop, the 
dingling sound of which makes known the divisions 
of the day without the slightest mistake. [20] In 
the palaces, pillars are made of s6-s6 (|^ W)j^ the 
floors of yellow gold,^ the leaves of folding doors 
of ivory, beams of fragrant wood. [21] They 
have no tiles, but powdered plaster is rammed 
down into a floor above the house. [22] This floor 

1 Su note to K 20. 
3 In Japanese Shitsu-shitsu. According to the Japanese com- 
mentator of the Pen'tsfao-kang-mu, Ono Ranzan, " a bluish variety of 

Ho-seki (=Pao-shih, J|[ 5) ^^ precious stones." See Geerts, Les 
Produits de la Nature Japonaise et Chinoisey Vol. II, p. 361. 

3 "Yellow gold," huang-chin J| |^, lit. "the yellow metal." This 

may be real gold, which metal, in opposition to pai-chin |^ ^, "the 

white metal "=» silver, and !^S, "the red metal "= copper, is often so 
called. See Ko-chih-cking-yuan, ch. 34, p. i. But I am inclined to 
believe that here a kind of bronze is meant, perhaps the yellow 

bronze called by the Japanese 0-to-kin ^HH^ ("bronze jaune"; 
Geerts, Lc, Vol. II, p. 486). 


translations: k-l. 

allowed to pay every year tribute of gold and 
silk ; in the sequel they became subject to 
Ta-shih [Arabia]. [36] In the 2nd year of the 
period Ch*ien-f6ng [=A.D. 667] they sent an 
embassy oflfering Ti-yeh-ka. [37] In the first year 
of the period Ta-tsu [=A.D, 701] they again 
sent an embassy to our court. [38] In the first 
month of the 7th year of the period K*ai-3r1ian 
[=A.D. 719] their lord sent the ta-shou-ling [aii 
officer of high rank] of T*u-huo-lo [Tokharestanj 
to offer lions and ling-yang [antelopes], two of 
each. [39] A few months after, he further sent 
ta-t6-s6ng [priests of great virtue=Nestorian 
priests?] to our court with tribute. 


{Hstri't^ang'shuy written during the middle of 
the nth century, its preface being dated 
A.D. 1060, ch. 22 1 \) 

[I] Fu-lin is the ancient Ta-ts*in. [2] It lies 
above the western sea. [3] Some call it Hai-hsi- 
kuo {i.e. J country on the west of the sea]. [4] It 
is 40,000 li distant from our capital [5] and 
lies in the west of Chan*; north you go straight 
to the Ko-sa tribe of Tu-ch*fleh. [6] In the west it 

borders on the sea-coast with the city of Ch*ih-san 

■ - ■ . . , ., I • 

^ Cf. translation by Visdelou, 1. c, p. 394 seqq. 

2 Chan f "Jf ), old sound Shem or Shim {r^^Hli^t ^^ T'ang-3rin 
JS ^t 24, p. 3.) which, in the account of Ta-shih, is said to be in 
the west of Ta-shih (i>., the Khalif empire). I presume that by 
Chan or Shem, Syria Proper is meant. See Q 41 and R 24. 

translations: l. 57 

[7] In the south-east it borders on Po-ssu 
[Persia.] [8] Its territory amounts to 10,000 li ; 1 
[9] of cities there are four hundred ; [10] of 
soldiers a million. [11] Ten li make one t*ing ; 
tEreet^ing make one chih. [12] Of subjected 
small countries there are several times ten. 
[13] Those which are known by name are called 
Tsfi-san and Lii-fSn; Ts6-san is direct north-east, 
but we cannot obtain the number of li of its road ; 
in the east, by sea 2,000 li, you come to the 
Lii-ffin country. [14] The capital [of Fu-lin] 
is built of [granite] stone ; [15] the city is 
eighty li broad; [16] the east gate is twenty . 
chang [=235 feet] high and chased with yellow 
gold.^ [17] The royal palace has three portals 
which are beset with precious stones. [18] In the 
middle portal there is a large golden scale ; a man 
made all of gold, standing. On the yard of that 
scale there are hanging twelve little balls, one of 
which will fall down whenever an hour is com- 
pleted. [19] In making the pillars of palaces 
they use s6-s6 \see K 20], and in making the king- 
posts of their roofs they use rock crystal and 
opaque glass ; in making floors they use beams of 
fragrant wood and yellow gold ; the leaves of their 
folding doors are of ivory. [20] Twelve honoured 
ministers have joint charge of the government. 
[21] When the king goes out, a man follows him 

^ See note to K 20. K'ou (iP), chased, according to the Japanese 
Cyclopedia "ciselures en differents metaux :" see Geerts. Ix., Vol. TT., 

p. 4S7. 

58 translations: l, 

with a bag, and whatever complaints there may 
be are thrown into the bag; on returning he 
examines into right and wrong. [22] When the 
country is visited by an extraordinary calamity, the 
king is deposed and a worthier man is placed in 
his position. [23] The king's official cap is like 
the wings of a bird, and pearls are sewn on it ; his 
garments are of embroidered silk, but there is no 
lapel in front. [24] He sits on a couch with 
golden ornaments ; at his side there is a bird like 
a goose, with green feathers; when his majesty 
eats anything poisonous it will crow. [25] There 
are no roofs made of earthea tiles ; but the roofs 
are overlaid with white stones, hard and shining 
like jadestone. [26] During the height of summer* 
heat, water is laid up and made to flow down from 
the top, the draught [thereby caused] producing 
wind. [27] The men there cut their hair; [28] they 
wear embroidered clothing in the shape of a gown 
that leaves the right arm bare. [29] They ride 
in heavy and light carriages and carts covered 
with white canopies. [30] When going out or 
coming back they hoist flags and beat drums. 
[31] Married women wear embroidered tiaras. 
[32] The millionaires of the country are the 
official aristocracy. The inhabitants enjoy wine 
and have a fancy for dry cakes. [33] Th^re 
are amongst them many jugglers who can issue 

fire from their faces, produce rivers and lakes from 

their hands, and banners and tufts of feathers from 

their mouths, and who, raising their feet, drop 


pearls and jadestones. [34] They have clever 
physicians who, by opening the brain and extracting 
worms, can cure mu-sh6ng [a sort of blindness]; 
[35] The country contains much gold and silver; 
the jewel that shines at night and the moon-shine 
pearl; large conches; ch6-ch*u [mother-o'-pearl?]; 
cornelian stones; mu-nan ; ^ ** king-fishers' feathers," ' 
and amber. [36] They weave the hair of the water- 
sheep [shui-yang] into cloth which is called Hai- 
hsi-pu [cloth from the west of the sea]. [37] In 
the sea there are coral islands. The fishers sit in 
large boats and let iron [wire] nets into the water 
down to the corals. When the corals first grow 
from the rocks they are white like mushrooms ; 
after a year they turn yellow; after three years 
they turn red. Then the branches begin to 
intertwine, having grown to a height of 3 to 4 chih 
[up to say 5 feet]. The iron being cast, the coral 
roots get entangled in the net, when the men » on 
board have to turn round in order to take them 

' A kind of pearl. The Wen-hsuan-chu (^SCStt), a work written 
about the time when this name must have become known (A.D. 658, 
5/^.Wylie, p. 192), quoted in the Yuan'chien4ei'han, ch. 364, p. 12, 
identifies it with pi-chu f| ^ (jade pearl). I do not know on what 
authority Visdelou (d'Herbelot, IV, p. 400) explains it as " une sorte 
do parfiim, qui decoule du bee de certains oiseaux oii il s'amasse." 
The pearl, it is true, is said to owe its jadelike colour to the saKva 
of a bird (Q 24), but I can find no allusion to its being a balsam. 
The Mu-nan IS called a pao-shih (fl| ^) of yellowish colour by the 
Chinese and Japanese authorities quoted in Geerts, 1. c. Vol. II 
pp. 359 and 361. 

s Probably a bluish stone so. called fi-om its resemblance in colour 
to the king-fisher. See note to G 3. 


6o translations: l. 

out. If they miss their time in fishing for it, the 
coral will decay. [38J On the western sea there are 
markets where the traders do not see one another, the 
price being [deposited] by the side of the merchan- 
dise ; they are called ** spirit markets." [39] There is ' 
a quadruped called Ts^ung ; it has the size of a dog, 
is fierce and repulsive, and strong. [40] In a 
northern district there is a sheep that grows out of - 
the ground ; its navel is attached to the ground, 
and if it is cut the animal will die. The inhabi- 
tants will frighten them by the steps of horses or 
by beating drums. The navel being thus de- 
tached, they are taken off the water plants ; they 
don't make flocks. [41] During the 17th year 
of ChSng-kuan [=A.D. 643] the king Po-to-li 
sent an embassy offering red glass and Iti- 
chin-ching [green gold gem, green gold dust or 
sand?], and a cabinet order was issued as an 
acknowledgment. [42] When the Ta-shih [Arabs} 
usurped power [over these countries], they sent 
their general, Mo-i, to reduce them to order. 
[43] Fu-lin obtained peace by an agreement, but 
in the sequel became subject to Ta-shih. [44J From" 
the period Ch'ien-feng [A.D. 666-668] till the 
period Ta-tsu [A.D. 701] they have repeatedly 
offered tribute to the Chinese court. [45] In the • 
7th year of the K*ai-y(ian period [==A.D. 719] 
they oflFered through the ta-yu [a high official] of 
T^u-huo-lo [Tokharestan] ^ lions and ling-yang 

[antelopes]. [46] Crossing the desert in the 

south-west of Fu-lin, at a distance of 2,000 li, 

TftANSLAtlOilS: t'-M. 6 1 

there are two counttieis called Mo*lin arid Lao*p*o- 
sa. [47] Their inhabitants are black and of a 
violent disposition. [48] The country is malariotis 
and has no vegetation. [49] They feed their 
horses on dried fish, and live themselves on hu- 
mang; hu-mang is the Persian date [Phogriix 
dactylifera, according to Bretschneider]. [50] 
They are not ashamed to have most frequent 
illicit intercourse with savages; the.y call this 
'* establishing the relation between lord and sub- 
ject." [51] On one of seven days they refrain 
from doing business, and carouse all night. 


[Extract from columns 12 and 13 of the 
Nestorian stone inscription.^] 

[i] According to the Hsi-yu-tU'chi arid the 
historical records of the Han and Wei dynasties, 
the country of Ta-ts4n begins in the south at the 
Coral Sea, and extends in the north to the Chung- 
pau-shan [hills of precious stones]; it looks in 
the west to ^*the region of the immortals" and 
'*the flowery groves " ; in the east it bounds on *^the 
long winds" and *^the weak water." [2] This 
country produces fire-proof cloth ; the life-restoring 
incense; the .ming-yueh-chu [moon-shine pearl]; 

^ Cf. translations by Boym in Kircher, Prodromus Coptiis and 
China lllustraia (in Latin ; reprinted Chin, Ripos., XlV, 202); Visdelou 
in d'Herbelot, Bihl. Orient., IV, p. 375 (in French); E. C. Bridgman in 
Cfiin. Repos., /. c. (English); A. Wylie, J. Am. Or. Soc, V, p. 280 
(English); Pauthier, rinscription Syro-Chinoise, etc. (Latin and 
French); Hue, U Christianisnu en Chine, Vol. I, p. 52 (French); and 


and the yeh-kuang-pi [jewel that shines at night. 
[3] Robberies are unknown there, and the people 
enjoy peace and happiness. [4] Only the king 
['* luminous "= Christian] religion is practised; only 
virtuous rulers occupy the throne. [5] This country 
is vast in extent;. its literature is flourishing. 


\_Sung'Shihy written during the 13th or 14th 
century, and comprising the period A.D. 960-1279, 
ch. 490.] 

[I] The country of Fu-lin. South-east of it 
you go to Mieh-li-sha; north you go to the 
sea; both forty days' journey; west you go 
to the sea, thirty days' journey ; in the east, 
starting from western Ta-shih, you come to 
Yii-tien [Khoten], Hui-ho and Ch*ing-t'ang, 
and finally reach China. [2] They have dur- 
ing former dynasties not sent tribute to our 
court. [3] During the tenth month of the 
4th year of the period Yiian-fdng [= November, 
A.D. 108 1], their king, Mieh-li-i-ling-kai-sa,^ first 
sent the ta-shou-ling [a high official] Ni-ssu- 
tu-ling-ssu-m6ng-p'an [Nestouri Ssu-mdpg-p*an,= 
Simon P*an ?] to offer as tribute saddled horses, 
sword-blades, and real pearls. [4] He said : the 
climate of this country is very cold; [5] houses 

^' ■■■^■■^ — ■ - ■ ■ ■■ ..I.-. -II- ■■— ■ — ^i- I, ■■-■.■ ■■■^■i.- ■ I ^ 

1 Bretschneider, Arabs, etc., p. 25, reads Mieh-li-s/ftf-ling-kai-sa. 
But I have no doubt that the syllables Mieh-li-5^/z, instead of Mieh-li-i", 
have been copied into this name, by an oversight, from the first 
paragraph in this, account, where the former name occurs. 


there have no tiles ; [6] the products are gold, 
silver, pearls, western silk cloth, cows, sheep, horses, 
camels with single humps, pears, almonds, dates, 
pa.-lan,* millet, and wheat. [7] They make wine 
from grapes ; [8] their musical instruments are 
the lute [k'ung-hou: the "flat lute," Dennys, 
** Notes on Chinese Instruments of Music," 
N.'Ch. B. R. Asiat Soc, Vol. VIII., p. 112], 
the hu-ch4n [the "tea-pot-shaped lute"; Ma Tuan- 
lin, Q 84, has hu-ch4n tR ^, the ".foreign lute," 
which is apparently a good conjecture]; the hsiao- 
pi-li [a kind of flageolet, s. Dennys, p. no], and the 
p*ien-ku ["side drum"?] [9] The king dresses 
in red and yellow robes, and wears a turban of 
silken cloth interwoven with gold thread. [10] In 
the 3rd month every year he goes to the temple 
of Fou,^ to sit on a red couch [palankin?] which 
he gets the people to lift. [11] His honoured 
servants [ministers, courtiers, priests?] are dressed 
like the king, but wear blue, green, purple, white 
mottled, red, yellow, or brown stuff", wear turbans 
and ride on horseback. [12] The towns and the 
country districts are each under the jurisdiction 
of a shou-ling [chief, sheik?] [13] Twice a 

1 A kind of dates, Greek )8aA.avos (?), Herod. I., 193; or 
acorns, chestnuts (?); see Hehn, Kulturpflanzen und Hausthiere, 3te 
Aufl., p. 342, seqq. (Aws ^aXavossschestnut)! Chinese dictionaries 
contain no clue as to the meaning of this term. 

« H$ Fou-shih, lit. "Temple of Buddha." Fou here clearly 
means either the Mahommedan Buddha (Mahommed) or the founder 
of the Christian religion ; in other places the Koran is described as 
ft 8 Fott-Kshing, the " Mahommedan Canon." 

64 translations: n-o. 

year, during the summer and autumn, they must 
oflfer money and cloth [chin-ku-po]. [14] In their 
criminal decisions they distinguish between great 
and small offences. Light offences are punished 
by several tens of blows with the bamboo ; heavy 
oflfences with up to 200 blows ; capital punishment 
is administered by putting the culprit into a 
feather bag which is thrown into the sea. 
[15] They are not bent on making war to 
neighbouring^ countries, and in the, case of small 
difficulties try to settle matters by correspondence ; 
but when important interests are at stake they will 
also send out an army. [16] They cast gold 
and silver coins, without holes, however ; on the 
pile they cut the words Mi-l6-fou [Melek Fat ?] 
which is a king's name. The people are forbidden 
to counterfeit the coin. [17J During the 6th year 
of Yiian-yu [=A.D. 109 1] they sent two embassies, 
and their king was presented, by imperial order, 
with 200 pieces of cloth, pairs of white gold vases, 
and clothing with gold bound in a girdle. (?) 


{Ming'Shih^ concluded in A.D. 1724, and 
embracing the period A.D. 1368-1643, ch. 326.^) 

[i] Fu-lin is the same as Ta-ts^in of the Han 
period. [2] It first communicated with China at 
the time of the emperor Huan-ti [A.D. 147-168]. 
[3] During the Chin and Wei dynasties it was also 
called Ta-ts4n, and tribute was sent to China. 

^ Cf. translation by Bretschn«i<icr, Chimi Reinew, IV.^ p. 390- 

translations: o. 65 


[4] During the T'ang d3niasty it was called Fu-lin. 
[5] During the Sung it was still so called, and they 
sent also tribute several times ; yet the Sung-shih 
says that during former dynasties they have sent 
no tribute to our court [See N, 2], which throws 
doubt on its identity with Ta-ts'in. [6] At the 
close of the Yiian dynasty [A.D. 1 278-1368] 
a native of this country, named Nieh-ku-lun, * 
came to China for trading purposes. [7] When, 
after the fall qf the Yiian, he was not able to 
return, the emperor T'ai-tsu, who had heard of 
this, commanded him to his presence in the 
eighth month of the 4th year of Hung-wu 
[=September 1371] and gave orders that an 
official letter be placed into his hands for trans- 
mission to his king, [8] which read as follows : 
** Since the Sung dynasty had lost the throne and 
Heaven had cut off their sacrifice, the Yiian 
[Mongol] dynasty had risen from the desert to 
enter and rule over China for more than a 
hundred years, when Heaven, wearied of their 

1 " Pope John XXII appointed Nicolaus de Bentra to succeed John 
de Monte Corvino as Archbishop of Cambalu, that is, Peking, in the 
year 1333; and also sent letters to the emperor of the Tartars, who 
was then the sovereign of China/' Mosheim, Ecclesiastical History, 
translated by James Murdock, Vol. II, p. 359 ; cf. Remusat, Nouv, 
MkU Asiat.y Vol. II, p. 198. Bretschneider, Ara5s, etc., p. 25, 
says : " It is possible that the Nie-ku-lun of the Chinese Annals 
is identical with the Monk Nicolas. The statement of the Chinese 
that Nicolas carried on commerce does not contradict this view. 
Perhaps he trafficked in fact, or he considered it necessary to intro- 
duce himself under the name of a merchant.'' I fully concur with this 

66 translations: o. 

misgovernment and debauchery, thought also fit 
to turn their fate to ruin, and the aflFairs of China 
were in a state of disorder for eighteen years. 
But when the nation began to arouse itself, We, 
as a simple peasant of Huai-yu, conceived the 
patriotic idea to save the people, and it pleased the 
Creator to grant that Our civil and military officers 
eflFected their passage across eastward to the 
left side of the River. We have then been 
engaged in war for fourteen years; We have, in 
the west, subdued the king of Han, Ch*6n Yu- 
liang; We have, in the east, bound the king of 
Wu, Chang Shih-ch'^ng; We have, in the south, 
subdued Min and Yiieh [=Fukien and Kuang- 
tung], atid conquered Pa and Shu [=Ssu-ch*uan] ; 
We have, in the north, established order in Yu 
and Yen [=Chih-li]; We have established peace 
in the Empire, and restored the old boundaries of 
Our Middle Land. We were selected by Our peo- 
ple to occupy the Imperial throne of China under 
the d3niastic title of ^the Great Ming,* commencing 
with Our reign styled Hung-wu, of which we now 
are in the fourth year. We have sent officers to 
all the foreign kingdoms with this Manifesto except 
to you, Fu-lin, who, being separated from us by 
the western sea, have not as yet received the 
announcement. We now send a native of your 
country, Nieh-ku-lun, to hand you this Manifesto. 
Although We are not equal in wisdom to our 
ancient rulers whose virtue was recognised all over 

the universe, We cannot but let the world know 


Our intention to maintain peace within the four 
seas. It is on this ground alone that We have 
issued this Manifesto." [9] And he again ordered 
the ambassador Pu-la and others to be provided 
with credentials and presents of silk for trans- 
mission to that country, who thereafter sent an 
embassy with tribute. [10] But this embassy was, 
in the sequel, not repeated until during the Wan-li 
period [A.D. 1 573-1 620] a native from the great 
western ocean came to the capital who said that 
the Lord of Heaven, Ye-su, was born in Ju-t6-a 
[Judaea] which is identical with the old country of 
Ta-ts4n ;^ that this country is known in the histori- 
cal books to have existed since the creation of the 
world for the last 6,000 years; that it is beyond 
dispute the sacred ground of history and 
the origin of all wordly affairs ; that it should be 
considered as the country where the Lord of 
Heaven created the human race. [11] This 
account looks somewhat exaggerated and should 
not be trusted. [12] As regards the abundance 
of produce and other precious articles found in this 
country, accounts will be found in former annals. 


( Wet'lto^ quoted at the end of ch. 30 of the 

1 Bretschneider iChina Review, IV, p. 391) adds: "evidently the 
view of Ricci." I quite agree to this conjecture which I would slightly 
modify by adding that Ricci's view seems to have been very near the 
truth. Ricci's Chinese name, Li Ma-tou ( ^9§'$ ); i.e., Li=Ricci, 
Matthaeus, is mentioned in a subsequent account of Italy as that of 
the foreigner who arrived during the period referred to. See Bret- 
schneider, I. c. 

68 translations: p. 

San-kuo-chth^ based on various records referring 
to the period of the three kingdoms,=A.D. 220- 
264, and compiled prior to A.D. 429.) 

[i] Formerly T*iao-chih was wrongly believed 
to be in the west of Ta-ts*in ; now its real position 
is [known to be] east. [2] Formerly it was also 
wrongly believed to be stronger than An-hsi 
[Parthia]; now it is changed into a vassal state 
said to make the western frontier of An-hsi 
[Parthia]. [3] Formerly it was, further, wrongly 
believed that the Jo-shui [weak water] was in the 
west of T*iao-chih; now the Jo-shui is [believed 
to be] in the west of Ta-ts*in. [4] Formerly 
it was wrongly believed that, going over two 
hundred days west of T^ao-chih, one came near 
the place where the sun sets ; now, one comes 
near the place where the sun sets by going west 
of Ta-ts4n. 

[5] The country of Ta-ts4n, also called Li-kan, 
is on the west of the great sea west of An-hsi 
[Parthia] and T*iao-chih. [6] From the city of 
An-ku, on the boundary of An-hsi [Parthia] one 
takes passage in a ship and, traversing the west of 
the sea, with favourable winds arrives in two months; 
with slow winds, the passage may last a year, and 
with no wind at all, perhaps three years. [7] This 
country is on the west of the sea whence it is 
commonly called Hai-hsi. [8] There is a river 
coming out from the west of this country, and there 
is another great sea. [9] In the west of the sea 
there is the city of Ch*ih-san. [10] From below 

translations: p. 69 

the country one goes straight north to the city of 
Wu-tan. [11] In the south-west one further 
travels by a river which on board ship one crosses 
in one day ; and again south-west one travels by a 
river which is crossed in one day/ [12] There 
are three great divisions of the country [perhaps : 
three great cities]. [13] From the city of An-ku 
one goes by land due north to the north of the sea ; 
and again one goes due west to the west of the sea ; 
and again you go due south to arrive there. [14] At 
the city of Wu-ch4h-san, you travel by river on 
board ship one day, then make a round at sea, and 
after six days' passage on the great sea, arrive in 
this country. 

[15] There are in the country in all over four 
hundred smaller cities; its size is several thousand li 
in all directions of the compass. [16] The residence 
of their king lies on the banks of a river estuary 
[^lit. a river-sea]. [17] They use stone in making 
city walls. [18] In this country there are the 
trees sung [pine], po [cypress], huai [sophora?], 
tzu [a kind of euphorbia?]; bamboos, rushes, 
poplars, willows, the wu-t*ung tree, and all kinds 
of other, plants. [19] The people are given to 
planting on the fields all kinds of grain. [20] Their 
domestic animals are: the horse, the donkey, the 
mule, the camel, and the mulberry silk-worm. 
[21] There are many jugglers who can issue fire 

1 The Chinese text here apparently contains what printers call 
"a double/' and we may perhaps be justified in considering the second 
part of this paragraph as interpolated. 

70 translations: p. 

from their mouths, bind and release themselves, [cf. 
C 2] and dance on twenty balls. [22] In this coun- 
try they have no permanent rulers, but when an 
extraordinary calamity visits the country, they 
elect as king a worthier man, while discharging the 
old king, who does not even dare to feel angry at 
this decision. [23] The people are tall, and upright 
in their dealings, like the Chinese, but wear foreign 
[hu ^] dress ; they call their country another China. 
[24] They always wished to send embassies to 
China, but the An-hsi [Parthians] wanted to make 
profit out of their trade with us, and would not 
allow them to pass their country. [25] They can 
read foreign [hu^] books. [26] They regulate by 
law public and private matters. [27] The palace 
buildings are held sacred. [28] They hoist flags, 
beat drums, use small carriages with white 
canopies, and have postal stations like the 
Chinese. [29] Coming from An-hsi [Parthia] 
you make a round at sea and, in the north, 
come to this country. [30] The people live 
close together. [31 J Ten li make one t4ng, 
thirty li one chih. [32] They have no robbers 
and thieves ; but there are fierce tigers and lions 
that will attack travellers, and unless these go in 
caravans, they cannot pass the country. [33I They 
have several times ten small kings. [34] The 
residence of their king is over a hundred li 
in circuit. [35] They have official archives. 

1 Hu, foreign, probably applies to the nations of Western Asia. 
Cf. Neumann, Asiat, Studien, p. 128 seqq. 

translations: p. 71 

[36] The king has five palaces, ten li apart from ' 
each other. The king hears the cases of one 
palace in the morning till being tired at night ; the 
next morning he* goes to another palace ; in five 
days he has completed his round. [37] Thirty- 
six generals [chiang] always consult upon public 
matters; if one general does not go [to the meeting] 
they do not consult. [38] When the king goes out 
he usually gets one of his suite to follow him 
• with a leather bag, into which petitioners throw a 
statement of their cases ; on arrival at the palace, 
the king examines into the merits of each case. 
[39] They use crystal in making the pillars of 
palaces as well as implements of all kinds, 
[40] They make bows and arrows. 

[41] The following dependent small states are 
enumerated separately, viz., the kings of TsS-san, 
Lii-fSn, Ch*ieh-lan, Hsien-tu, Ssu-fu, and Yii-lo; 
and of other small kingdoms there are very many ; 
it is impossible to enumerate them one by one. 

[42] The country produces fine ch'ih [hemp or 
hemp cloth]. [43] They make gold and silver 
money; one coin of gold is worth ten [of silver] 
[44] They weave fine cloth, and say they use the 
down of water-sheep in making it; it is called 
Hai-hsi-pu [cloth from the west of the sea]. In 
this country all the domestic animals come out of 
the water. Some say that they do not only use 
sheep's wool, but also the bark of trees [vegetable 
fibre ?] and the silk of wild silk- worms in weaving 
cloth, and the Ch'ii-shu, the T'a-tSng, and Chi-chang 

7^ translations: p. 

class of goods [serge or plush rugs ?] of their looms 
are all good ; their colours are of brighter appearance 

than are the colours of those manufactured in the 
countries on the east of the sea.^ [45] Further, 
they were always anxious to get Chinese silk for 
severing it in order to make hu-ling [foreign damask, 
gauze ?], for which reason they frequently trade by 
sea with the countries of An-hsi [Parthia]. [46] The 
sea-water being bitter and unfit for drinking is the 
cause that but few travellers come to this country. 
^ [47] The hills in this country produce inferior jade- 
stones [tz*u-yu-shih=half-precious stones?] of nine 
colours, viz., blue, carnation, yellow, white, black, 
green, crimson, red, and purple. The Chiu-s6-shih 
[nine-coloured stones] which are now found in the 
I-wu-shan belong to this category. [48] During 
the third year of Yang-chia [=A.D. 134] the king 
and minister of Su-l6 [Kashgar?] presented to 
the court each a golden girdle beset with blue 
stones ^ from Hai-hsi, and the Chin-hsi-yU'chiu-fu 
says : the rare stones coming from the countries 
of Chi-pin [= Afghanistan ?] and T4ao-chih are 
inferior jadestones. 


[49] The following products are frequently found 

in Ta-ts*in. 

___ ' ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ - ■ .. . I . ■ I , 

* Probably the countries on the Persian Gulf (East of the Sea) as 
opposed to Ta-ts4n, the country on the Red Sea (West of the Sea). 

« Ch'ing-shih (^ 5). This name is now a synonym of hei-shih 
(m^ ?) ^^^ ^^ applied to smaltine or bin^rseniet of cobalt. (Geerts, 
1. c, Vol. II, p. 568.) It appears, however, from the context Aat a 
more precious mineral is meant, perhaps ' lapis lazuli * (WiUtUBa].- . 



a. Gold. 
6. Silver. 
c. Copper. 
d» Iron. 
e. Lead. 
/. Tin. 
^. Turtoises. 
h. White horses. 
u Red hair. ^ 
y. Hsieh-chi-hsi. 
k. Turtoise shell. 
/. Bkck' bears. 
m. Ch*ih^ch4h. 
n. P*i-tu-shu. 
0. Large conches. 
/. Ch*6-ch*fl. 
g. Cornelian stones. 
r. Southern gold. 
s. King-fishers' gems. 
t. Ivory. 
u. Fu-ts'ai-yii. 
w. Ming-jiieh-chu. 
X. Yeh-kuang-chu. 
. y. Real white pearls. 



z. Amber. 
aa. Corals. 
bb. Ten colours of 
opaque glass, viz., 
carnation, white, 
black, green, yel- 
low, blue, purple, 
azure, red, and 
cc. Ch*iu-lin 
dd. Lang-kan 
ee. Rock crystal 
J^. Mei-kuei [garnets?] 
gg. Realgar and orpi- 

AA. Five colours of Pi. 
u. Ten kinds of Jade, 
viz., yellow, white, 
black, green, a 
brownish red, crim- 
son, purple, gold, 
yellow, azure, and 
a reddish yellow.*'* 
jj. Five colours of Ch*u- 
shu [rugs?] 

^ Cf. I x8 and Q 21 ; in these passages the expression "red hair" 
or "red bristles" is also preceded by the mention of white horses. 
It may be that the two terms belong together. 

» hsfian (3E)* black, dark grey, or brown. Cf. von Strauss und 
Tomey, "Bezeichnung der Farben Blau und Grtin im chinesischen 
Alterthum," in Z. D. M. G., XXXIII, p. 503, seqq. 

3 The translation of these as of all colours is very doubtful. 


translations: p. 

kk. Five colours of T*a- 

t6ng [rugs?] 

//. Nine colours of 

Shou-hsia t*a-t6ng. 

mm. Gold embroideries. 

nn. Damasks of various 

00. Chin-t*u-pu [Gold- 
coloured cloth?] 
pp. Fei-ch'ih-pu.^ 
qq. Fa-lu-pu.^ 
rr. Fei-ch^ih-ch'ii-pu. 
^^. Asbestos cloth. 
//. 0-lo-t6-pu. 
uu. Pa-ts6-pu. 
WW. To-tai-pu.' 
XX. W6n-s6-pu.* 

yy. Five colours T*ao- 

zz. Chiang-ti. 

aaa. Curtains inter-, 
woven with gold. 

bbb. Five colours of 

ccc. I-wei-mu-6rh (?) 

ddd. Storax. 

eee. Ti-ti-mi-mi-tou-na. 

fff. Pai-fu-tzu [a plant]. 

ggg. Hsun-lu. 

hhh. Yii-chin [a kind of 

Hi. Yun-chiao-hsun, in 
all 12 kinds of 
vegetable fragrant' 
substances [?]. 

[50] After the road from Ta-ts4n had been per- 
formed from the north of the sea by land, another 
road was tried which followed the sea to the south 
and connected with the north of the outer bar- 
barians at the seven principalities of Chiao-chih 
[Tung-king]; and there was also a water-road 
leading through to Yi-chou and Yung-ch'ang [in 

1 Called Fei-ch'ih-chu-pu (iP # fj" ^) in a quotation of the 
corresponding passage in the Yiian'Chien'Ui'kan, ch. 366, p. 7. 

3 Fa-lung-pu (S ^), ihid. 
3 Lu-tai-pu (ffi f5), ibid. 

* (Jft ^), ibid. 

* Five colours Ch§n-pu (ft ^),ibid. 

translations: p. 75 

the present Yun-nan]. It is for this reason that 
curiosities come from Yung-ch'ang. 

[51] Formerly only the water-road was spoken 
of; they did not know there was an overland route. 
[53] Now the accounts of the country are as 
follows. [54] The number of inhabitants cannot 
be stated. [55] This country is the largest in the 
west of the Ts'ung-ling. [56] The number of 
small rulers established [under its supremacy] is 
very large. [57] We, therefore, record only the 
larger ones. 

[58] The king of Ts6-san is subject to Ta-ts4n. 
[59] His residence lies right in the middle of the 
sea. [60] North you go to Lii-ffin [see below 
paragr. 62 seqq.] by water half a year, with quick 
winds a month; it is nearest to the city of An-ku in 
An-hsi [Parthia; see above paragr. 6 and 13]. 
[61] South-west you go to the capital of Ta-ts'in; 
we do not know the number of li. 

[62] The king of Lii-f^n is subject to Ta-ts'in. 
[63] His residence is 2,000 li distant from the 
capital of Ta-ts'in. [64] The flying bridge across 
the sea [river ?] in Ta-ts*in west of the city of Lii- 
f6n is 230 li in length. [64] The road, if you cross 
the sea [river?], goes to the south-west; if you 
make a round at sea [or, on the river?], you go 
due west. 

[65] The king of Ch'ieh-lan is subject to Ta- 
ts'in. [66] Coming from the country of Ssu-t*ao 
you go due south, cross a river, and then go due 
west to Ch*ieh-lan 3,000 li ; when the road comes 

76 translations: p. 

out in the south of the river, you go wMt. 
[67] Coming from Ch*ieh-lan you go again straight 
to the country of Ssu-fu [see below paragr. 72] on 
the western river 600 li ; where the southern road 
joins [the] Ssu-fu [road] there is the country of 
Hsien-tu [see below paragr. 70] in the south-west, 
[68] Going due south from Ch*ieh-lan and Ssu-fu 
there is the "Stony Land" \ltt. accumulated 
stones]; in the south of the Stony Land there 
is the great sea which produces corals and real 
pearls. [69] In the north of Ch4eh-lan, Ssu-fh, 
Ssu-pin and A-man there is a range of hills extend- 
ing from east to west ; in the east of Ta-ts*in [i. q. 
Hai-hsi) so called from its sea, the red sea^ as the 
western arm of the Great Sea] as well as of Hai- 
tung [the country on the eastern arm of the Grremt 
Sea, t.e.^ on the Persian Gulf] there are ranges of 
hills extending from north to south. 

[70] The king of Hsien-tu is subject to Ta-ts'in. 
[71] From his residence you go 600 li north-east 
to Ssu-fu. 

[72] The king of Ssu-fu is subject to Ta-ts*in. 
[73] From his residence you go to Yii-lo [see below 
paragr. 74 and 75] north-east 340 li, across the sea.* 

[74] Yil-lo is subject to Ta-ts*in. [75] Its 
residence is in the north-east of Ssu-fu across the 
river. From Yii-lo north-east you again cross a 

' It appears that "sea" (hai, ^) here frequently means ''river." 
The "sea" and the "river" in paragraphs 73 and 75 are apparently 
the saoie water^ 

TR AK8LATIOH8 ! P-Q. 77 

river to Ssu-lo; and north-east of this you again 
cross a rircr. 

[76] The country of Ssu-lo is subject to An-hsi 
[Parthia] and is on the boundary of Ta-ts4n. 

I77] ^^ the west of Ta-ts4n there is the water 
of the sea; west of this is the water of a river; 
west of the river there is a large range of hills 
extending from north to south ; west of this there 
is the Ch4h-shui [Red River] ; west of the Ch%- 
shjii there is the White Jade Hill ; on the White 
Jade Hill there is the Hsi-wang-mu ; west of the 
Hsi-wang-mu there is the rectified Liu-sha [the 
"Flying Sands"]; west of the Liu-sha there are the 
four countries of Ta-hsia, Chien-sha, Shu-yu and 
Yfleh-chih. West of these there is the Hei-shui 
[Black or Dark River] which is reported to be the 
western terminus of the world. 


(Ma Tuan-lin: Win-hsien-fung-k^ao^ ch, 330.) 
[i] Ta-tsHn, also called Li-kan/ has been first 
communicated with during the later Han dynasty. 
[2] This country, as being in the west of the 
western sea, is also called Hai-hsi-kuo [tx.y western 
sea country.] [3] Its king resides at the city of An- 
tu. [4] In the palaces they use crystal in making 

1 A icbolkm uiseFted after this name says that its second part |Ff 
was proBOonced with the initial JS chfi, old sound : gu or ku^ and the 
final llT jen, thus describing the probable ancient sound of the name 
at Liken. In the same note Ma Tuan-lin insinuates that the country is 
i4entiod with Li-ken of the Ch'ten-han-sku (aee B 5 ; cf. SAik^ki A 5). 

78 translations: q. 

pillars. [5] From T4ao-chih west, crossing the 
sea, you make a crooked journey, ten thousand 11. 
[6] Its distance from Ch*ang-an [=Hsi-an-fu] is 
40,000 li. [7] This country is even and upright; 
human dwellings are scattered [over it] like stars. 
[8] Its territory amounts to a thousand li from 
east to west and from north to south. [9] It 
contains over 400 cities and several tens of small 
tributary states. [10] In the west there is the 
Great Sea. [11] On the west of the sea there 
is the royal city of Ch*ih-san. [12] They have 
keepers of official records and foreigners trained 
in reading their writings [perhaps: and, as regards 
writing, they can read hu, =the writing of certain 
western or central Asiatic nations.] [13] They cut 
their hair and wear embroidered clothing. [ 1 4] They 
also have small carriages with white canopies, and 
hoist flags, etc. [15] Every ten li make one 
t4ng ; thirty li make one hou, the same as in China. 
[16] The country contains many lions who are a 
great scourge to travellers; for unless going in 
caravans of over a hundred men and being 
protected by military equipment, they will be 
hurt by them. [17] Their king is not. a per- 
manent one, but they want to be led by a man of 
merit. Whenever an extraordinary calamity or an 
untimely storm and rain occurs, the king is deposed 
and a new one elected, the deposed king resigning 
cheerfully. [18] The inhabitants ^ iare tall, .*;an3 
upright in their deialings, like the. Chinese, wh^ce 
they are called Ta-ts 'in, or Chinese. ^ [19] Amongst 

translations: q. 79 

precious stones they have the hsieh-chi-hsi [the 
chicken-frightening rhinoceros.] V ~ [20] They mix 
several fragrant substances and fry their juice 
in order to make Su-ho [Storax]. [21] The country 
produces gold, silver, and rare precious things ; the 
jewel that shines at night, the moon-shine pearl, 
amber, opaque glass, turtoises [sh6n-kuei], white 
horses, red bristles (?), turtoise-shell, black bears, 
red glass, the p*i-tu-shu [a kind of rat], large 
conches, ch*6-ch*u,^ cornelian. [22] The Ts*ung 
[a quadruped] comes from the western sea; some are 
domesticated like dogs, but they are mostly fierce 
and nasty. [23] In the northern possessions of 
this country there is a kind of sheep which grow 
naturally out of the ground. They wait till the 
germs are about to sprout, and then protect them 
by raising walls lest the beasts at large should eat 
them. Their navels are connected with the " 
ground; if the navel is cut by force, the animal 
will die ; but if by the sound of striking some 

^ The Pao-p'O'tzn S2iys: The T'ung-t'ien-hsi (Rhinoceros commu- 
nicating with Heaven) has got a white gem, [suspended] as if on a 
tassel, which will frighten away the chickens when placed in a heap 
of rice in the middle of a flock of these animals, whence southern 
people call it hsieh-chi, i,e,, chicken-frightening. [Cf. Visdelou's note 
in d'Herbelot, Bidl. Orient, Vol. IV, p. 398]. 

a The Ktuing-ya says: Ch'e-ch'ti is a stone like jade. [Cf. Ko chih- 
cking-yuan, Ch. 33, p. 16 ; also Pfizmaier, Beitrdge zur Geschichte der 
Edelsteine und des GoldeSy Wien 1868, p. 202: "Das Wagennetz." 
Chinese Ch'6-ch'tt, or Ch'd-k'ti, may be identical with Uigur ischeku, 
described by Klaproth as " eine sehr grosse gewundene Seemuschel- 
schale, die fllr eine Kostbarkeit gehalten wird." See "Abhandlung flb. 
d. Sprache u. Schrift der Uiguren," p. 22, in Appendix to Verzeickniss, 
etc., Paris, 1832. 


object tbrjT are frightened, this will came them to 
disconnect their navek, and they may be taken, off tlK 
water-plants; they will not form flocksi [24] There 
is further the Mu-nan^ a pearl of jade colotuv 
originating in the coagulation of saUva in the 
mouth of a flying bird ; the natives consider nt a 
precious substance/ [25] There are jugglers who 
can let fires burn on their foreheads ; make rivers 
and lakes in their Hands ; raise their feet and let 
pearls and precious stones drop from them ; ami, 
in opening their mouths produce banners and 
tufts of feathers in abundance.^ [26] With regard 
to the hsi-pu [fine cloth} manufactured on their 
looms, they say they use the wool of water-sheep in 
making itf it is called hai-chung-pu. [27} They 
make all kinds of rugs [Ch'ii-sou, T'a-tftng^ Chi- 
changf etc.]; their colours are still more brilliant 
than are those manufactured in the countries 
on the east of the sea. [28] They always made 
profit by obtaining the thick plain silk stu& 
of China, which they split in order to make foreign 
ling kan w6n [foreign damask-ling-and purpk 
dyed-kan-mustered goods-w6n-?], and they enter- 
tained a lively trade with the foreign states 

1 [According to] Ts'ao Tzti-chien Isee Mayers, Manual, I, No, 759] 
coral matches, may be mixed with [r chien Qj the mu*iiaib [Ma 
Tuan-lin's note. Cf. note i to Li 35.] 

2 When the Emperor Wu-ti of the Former Han dynasty sent aB 
embassy to An-hsi [Parthia], this country offered two jugglers from 
Li-ken with deformed eyebrows, steep noses, ruffled hair aad strong 
side-curls, and four feet and five inches in length [Mk Toan-lia's 

translations: q. 8i 

of An-hsi [Parthia] by sea. [29] About 700 or 
800 li south-west in the Chang-hai/ you come to 
the Coral Islands. At the bottom of the water there 
are rocks and the corals grow on them. The inha- 
bitants of Ta-ts*in use large sea-going ships having 
on board nets of iron. They get a diver first to 
go down and look for corals ; if the nets can be 
let down, they drop them. When the corals first 
appear they are white, and by degrees they 
resemble sprouts, and break through. After a year 
and some time has elapsed they grow through the 
meshes of the net and change their colour into 
yellow; they will then throw out branches and 
intertwine, having grown to a height of three 
or four ch*ih [=4 to 5 feet, Engl], and the larger 
ones measuring over a ch4h [say 15 inches, Engl.] in 
circuit. After three years, their colour has turned 
into a beautiful carnation red. They are then again 
looked after to ascertain whether they can be 
gathered. The fishers thereupon get at the roots 
with iron pinchers and fasten the net with ropes ; 
they let the men on board turn the vessel round, 
raise the net and take it out, and return to their 
country, where the corals are polished and cut 
according to fancy. If not fished for at the proper 
time they are liable to be worm-bitten. [30] In 
this country they make gold and silver coins ; ten 

* Chang-hai=" Gulf/' />., the Red Sea, the same name being 
applied to the Gulf of Tung-king ; cf. J^ ^ p'o-hai, which, in China, 
is applied to the Gulf of Pei-chih-li ; both terms probably mean "arm 
of the sea, gulf;" cf. note to I 5. 

82 translations: q. 

silver coins are worth one gold coin. [31] The 
inhabitants are just in their dealings, and in the 
trade there are not two prices. [32] Cereals' are 
always cheap, and the budget is well supplied. 


[33] When the envoys of neighbouring countries 
arrive at their furthest frontier they are driven by 
post to the royal capital and, on arrival, are pre- 
sented with golden money. [34] Their king always 
wished to send envoys to China ; but the An-hsi 
[Parthians] wished to carry on trade with them in 
Chinese silks, and this is the cause of their having 
been shut oflf from direct communication. [35] It 
was, further, hard to cross the great sea, travelling 
merchants taking three years' provisions on board to 
make this passage, whence the number of travellers 
was but small. [36] In the beginning of the Yuan- 
chia period of the emperor Huan-ti [A.D. 151- 
153], the king of Ta-ts4n, An-tun, sent envoys 
who oflFered ivory, rhinoceros' horns, and turtoise- 
shell, from the boundary of Jih-nan [Annam]; this 
was the first time they communicated with us. 
Their tribute contained no precious stones what- 
ever, which fact makes us suspect that the messen- 
gers kept them back. During the Ta-k*ang period 
of the emperor Wu-ti of the Chin dynasty 
[Ta-k*ang=T*ai-k*ang, A.D. 280-290] their king 
sent envoys with tribute. [37] Some say that in 
the west of this country there is the Jo-shui [weak 
water] and the Liu-sha [flying sands] near the 
residence of the Hsi-wang-mu [western king's 
mother], not far from the place where the sun sets. 

translations: q. 83 

(Ma Tuan-lin's text is here interrupted by the 
following note-38 to 61 incl.) : 

[38] The Wai'kuO'tu [map of foreign countries] 
says: [39] From Yung-ch*6n north there is a 
country called Ta-ts4n. [40] These people are of 
great size; they measure five or six ch*ih in 
height.^ [41] The Kuet'huan'hstng'ching'Chi^ 
says : The Fu-lin country is in the west of Chan 
[old sound: Sham], separated by hills several 
thousand li; it is also called Ta-ts4n. [42] Its 
inhabitants have red and white faces. [43] Men 
wear plain clothes, but women wear silk stuflfs 
beset with pearls. [44] They have many clever 
Weavers of silk. [45] Prisoners are kept in the 
frontier states till death without their being 
brought back to their home. [46] In the manu- 
facture of glass they are not equalled by any 
nation of the world. [47J The royal city is eighty 
li square ; the country in all directions measures 
several thousand li. [48] Their army consists of 
about a million men. [49] They have constantly 
to provide against the Ta-shih [Arabs]. [50J On 
the west the country bounds on the western 
sea ; on the south, on the southern sea ; in the 
north, it connects with K*o-sa T*u-ch*ueh [the 
Khozar Turks]. [51] In the western sea there 

I Sh^n-chang wu liu ch'ih (^ ^ 3£ a\ i^)- Five or six ch'ih,= 
6 to 7 feet, would give a reasonable sense ; I have, therefore, ventured 
to translate as above rather than literally ; " their bodies are a chang 
(^) and five or six ch'ih [in size]", 

« See note to R 24. 

84 translations: q. 

is a market where a silent agreement exists 
between buyer and seller that, if the one is 
coming the other will go, and vice versd; the 
seller will first spread out his goods, and the 
purchaser will afterwards produce their equivalents, 
which have to wait by the side of the articles tp 
be sold till received bv the seller, after which the 
purchase may be taken delivery of. They call this 
a spirit market. [52] There is also a report that in 
the west there is the country of women [Amazons] 
who, being aflfected by the influence of water, 
give, birth to children [perhaps : who are born out 
of water^]. [53] It is further said : the country of 
Mo-lin is on the south-west of the country of 
Yang-sa-lo; crossing the great dessert 2,000 li 
you come to this country. [54] Its inhabitants are 
black and of ferocious manners. [55] Cereals are 
scarce, and there is no vegetation in the way of 
shrubs and trees ; horses are fed on dried fish ; men 
eat hu-mang, that is, the Persian date. [56] The 
country is very malarious. [57] The hill tribes 
which one has to pass in pursuing the overland 
road of these countries, are of the same race. 
[58] Of religions there are several kinds: there 
is the Ta-shih, the Ta-ts4n, and the Hsiin-hsun 
religion. [59] The Hsun-hsun have most fre- 
quent illicit intercourse with barbarians; while 

1 The former seems to be the .orthodox rendering. In the New 
Testament (Hongkong, London Mission, 1869) the words : to yap Iv 
avTjJ y€vvr)0€Vy €k TTvevftaTiS? ia-Tiv ayiov (Matthew, I, 20) have 
been rendered by||^^^|R3Ri|jj[t4fc. 

translations: q. 85 

eating they do not speak. [60] Those who belong 
to the religion of Ta-shih have a rule by which 
brothers, children and other relatives may be 
impeached for crime without implicating their 
kin, even if the crime be brought home to 
them. They do not eat the flesh of pigs, dogs, 
donkeys, and horses ; they do not prostrate [or kneel 
down] before the king, nor before father or mother, 
to show their veneration ; they do not believe in 
spirits, and sacrifice to heaven alone. Every 
seventh day is a holiday, when they will refrain 
from trade, and not go in or out, but drink 
wine and yield to dissipation till the day is finished. 
[61] The Ta-ts*in are good physicians in eye- 
diseases and diarrhoea, whether by looking to 
matters before the disease has broken out 
li.e.j whether by the prophylactic method], or 
whether by extracting worms from the brain 

[62] In the south-east of this country you go 
to Chiao-chih [Tung-kingJ; there is also a 
water-road communicating with the I-chou and 
Yung-ch*ang principalities [both in the present 
Yiin-nan]. Many rare things come from there^. 
[63] It is said that in the west of Ta-ts4n there is 
the water of a sea ; west of the [sea] water there 
is a river ; the river flows south-west ; west of the 
river there are hills extending from south to 
north ; west of the hills there is the Red Water ; 

86 translations: q. 

west of this is the White Jade Hill ; west of the 
Jade Hill is the Hill of the Hsi-wang-mu [western 
king's mother] who lives in a temple built of 
jadestone. [64] Coming from the western boundary 
of An-hsi [Parthia], following the crooked shape 
of the sea, you also come to Ta-ts'in, bending round 
over 10,000 li. [65] Although in that country 
the sun, the moon, and the constellations appear 
not diflferent from what they are in China, former 
historians say that in the west of T*iao-chih you go 
a hundred* li to the place where the sun sets ; this 
is far from being true. [66] In the 17th year of 
Ch6ng-kuan of the T'ang dynasty [=A.D. 643] 
the king of Fu-lin, Po-to-li,* sent envoys oflfering 
red glass and green gold ching [stones, gems, 
dust?], and a cabinet order was issued as an 
acknowledgement. [67] The Ta-shih [Arabs} 
waged war against the country which in the sequel 
became subject to them. [68] Between the 
periods Ch4en-f6ng and Ta-tsu [A.D. 666-701] 
they repeated their court offerings. [69] In the 
7th year of K'ai-yOan [A.D. 719] they offered 
through the ta-yu [a high ofl&cial] of T*u-huo-lo 
[Tokharestan] lions and ling-yang [antelopes]. 

1 My edition of Ma Tuan-lin [d.d. A.D. 1524] has ^pei, north, 

instead of "5 pai, hundred. This is apparently either a misprint or a 

blunder of the author's, as the Wei-shu, where this passage occurs, has 

pai. See I 23. I have made the correction and translated accordingly. 

3 Our author, in a two-column note added here, quotes the 
Hsin-fang'Shu to say that Fu-lin is identical with the ancient Ta-ts'in 
Cf. Li. The ChUi-lfang-sIm (K i) contains the same remark. This 
shows that Tuan-lin prefers the former as an authority. 

translations: q. 87 

[70] The Dwarfs. These are in the south of 
Ta-ts*in.. They are Scarcely three ch*ih [say 4 feet, 
Engl.] large. When they work in the fields they 
are afraid of being devoured by cranes. When- 
ever Ta-ts*in has rendered them any assistance, 
the Dwarfs give them all they can aflford in the 
way of precious stones to show their gratitude. 

[71] The Hsuan-ch*u. Their country contains 
many '* birds of nine colours," with blue pecks, 
green necks, red-brown wings, red breasts, pur- 
ple crests, vermilion feet, jade-coloured bodies, 
yellowish backs, and blackish tails. Another name 
of this animal is "bird of nine tails," or chin-f6ng 
[the brocaded phoenixj. Those which have more 
blue than red on them are called Hsiu-luan 
[embroidered argus pheasant]. These birds 
usually come from the west of the Jo-shui [weak 
water]. Some say that it is the bird of the 
Hsi-wang-mu [western king's mother]. The coins 
of the country are the same as those of the country 
of San-t*ung. 

[72] The San-t*ung are a thousand li south-west 
of Hsuan-ch*u. The inhabitants have three ching- 
chu [clear pearls=eyes ?], and sometimes four 
tongues by means of which they may produce one 
kind of sound and speak one language. They 
trade in plantains, also in rhinoceros' horns and 
ivory;* they make 'golden coins on which they 
imitate the king's, also the queen's face [with the 

1 I am not very clear about this and the following passage. 

88 translations: q. 

king's together?]; if the husband is changed, they 
use the king's face ; if the king dies, they re-nnielt 
the coin. 

[73] The above three countries border on Ta- 
ts4n whence they are here appended, 

[74] Ts6-san was heard of during the Wei 
d)niasty. It is subject to Ta-ts*in. Its residence 
lies right in the middle of a sea [perhaps "of a 
river."] North you go to Lii-fdn by water half a 
year, with quick winds a month. It is nearest to 
Ch*6ng-ku^ of An-hsi [Parthia]. South-west you 
go to the capital of Ta-ts4n ; we do not know 
how many li. 

[75] Lii-fdn was heard of during the Wei 
dynasty. It is subject to Ta-ts*in. Its residence 
is 2,000 li distant from the capital of Ta-ts*in. The 
flying bridge across the sea [river?] in Ta-ts*in 
west of the city of Lii-fSn is 240 li in length 
[cf. P 64I. The road, if you cross the sea [river?], 
goes to the south-west ; if you make a round at sea 
[or, on the river], you go due west. 

[76] Fu-lin. In the south and east of the 
country of Fu-lin you go to Mieh-li-sha [old sound 
Miliksha]; north you go to the sea, forty days' 
journey; west you go to the sea, thirty days' 
journey. I77] In the east, starting from western 

1 Cf. P 60, which passage I presume contains the correct reading : 

translations: q. 89 

Ta-shih [the remnants of the Khalif empire] you 
come to Yii-tien [Khoten], Hui-ho, Ta-ta [Tartary ?] 
and.Ch*mg-t*ang, and finally reach China. [78] They 
have during former dynasties not sent tribute to 
our court. [79] During the tenth month of the 
fourth year of the period Yiian-ffing [=November 
A.D. 1081], their king Mieh-li-i-ling-kai-sa ^ first 
sent the ta-shou-ling [a high official] Ni-ssu-tu- 
ling-ssu-m6ng-p*an [Nestouri Ssii-mfing-p^an, Simon 
Pan?] to oflfer as tribute saddled horses, sword- 
blades and real pearls. [80] He said : the climate 
of this country is very cold; [8ij houses there 
have no tiles; [82] the products are gold, silver, 
pearls, western silk cloth, cows, sheep, horses, camels 
with single humps, pears, almonds, dates, pa-lan^ 
miltet, and wheat. [83] They make wine from grapes. 
[84] Their musical instruments are the lute, the 
hu-ch*in, the hsiao-pi-li, and the p*ien-ku [see N 8]. 
[85] The king dresses in red and yellow robes, and 
wears a turban of silken cloth interwoven with 
gold thread. [86] In the third month every year 
he goes to the temple of Fou^, to sit on a red 
couch [palankin?] which he gets the people to 

lift. His honoured servants [ministers, courtiers, 
priests?] are ^dressed like the king, but wear blue, 
green, purple, white mottled, red, yellow, or brown 
stuflF; wear turbans and ride on horseback. [97] The 
towns and the country districts are each under 
the jurisdiction of a shou-ling [chief, sheik?]. 

1 Sec note to N 3. 2 See note to N 6. ^ See note to N lo. 

90 translations: q, 

[88] Twice a year during the summer and autumn 
they must bflfer money and cloth [chin-ku-po]. 
[89] In their criminal decisions they distinguish 
between great and small oflfeiices. Light oflfences 
are punished by several hundreds ^ of blows with 
the bamboo; heavy oflfences with up to 200 
blows; capital punishment is administered by 
putting the culprit into a feather bag which 
is thrown into the sea. [90] They are not 
bent on making war to 'neighbouring countries, 
and in the case of small difficulties try to settle 
matters by correspondence; but when important 
interests are at stake they will also send out an 
army. [91] They cast gold and silver coins, with- 
out holes, however ; on the pile they cut the words 
Mi-l6-fou [Melek Fat?] which is a king's name; 
the people are forbidden to counterfeit the coin. 
[92] During the 6th year of Yiian-yu [=A.D. 1091] 
they sent two embassies, and their king was pre- 
sented, by Imperial order, with 200 pieces of cloth, 
pairs of white gold [==silver?] vases, and clothing 
with gold bound in a girdle (?). 

4 [93] According to the historians of the T'ang 
dynasty, the country of Fu-lin was held to be 
identical with the ancient Ta-ts^in. It should be 
remarked, however, that, although Ta-ts^in has 
from the after Han dynasty, when China was first 


1 This is clearly an error in my edition of Ma Tuan-lin ; it should 
not read shu-pai [several hundred], but shu-shih [several tens]. This, 
at all events, is the wording of the Sung-shu. See N 14. 

translations: q. 91 

communicated with, till down to the Chin and 
T^ang dynasties has offered tribute without interrup- 
tion, yet the historians of the ^^four reigns" * of the 
Sung dynasty, in their notices of Fu-lin, hold that 
this country has not sent tribute to court up to the 
time of Yuan-feng [A.D. 1078-1086] when they 
sent their first embassy offering local produce. 
If we, now, hold together the two accounts of Fu- 
lin as transmitted by the two different historians, we 
find that, in the account of the T^ang dynasty, this 
country is said ^^to border on the great sea in the 
west;" whereas the Sung account says that ^4n the 
west you have still thirty days' journey to the sea ;" 
and the remaining boundaries do also not tally in the 
two accounts ; nor do the products and the customs 
of the people. I suspect that we have before us 
merely an accidental similarity of the name, and 
that the country is indeed not identical with Ta- 
ts'in. I have, for this reason, appended the Fu-lin 
account of the T'ang dynasty to my chapter on 
Ta-ts4n, and represented this Fu-lin [of the Sung 
dynasty] as a separate country altogether. 

1 • Ssu-ch'ao-shik ; probably the title of an historical publication, 
embracing the last four 'emperors of the Sung dynasty, and anticipa- 
ting the Stmg-shih. Ma Tuan-lin (ch. 192, p. 16 seqq.) describes a 
work, containing historical records of the Sung dynasty, under the title 
SsU-ch'ao-kuO'shih (0 ^ 19 ^), and in connection therewith says 
that the term san-ch'ao refers to the first two emperors (A.D. 960 to 
1022), liang'Ch'ao, to the next two (A.D. 1023 to 1167), and ssu-ck'ao, 
to the last four (A.D. 1068 to 11 27). It appears that, in another 
work, ssfi'ch'ao means the first four emperors of the southern Sung 
(A.D. 1 127 to 1225). I refer to the Ssu-ch^ao-wen-chien-lu, regarding 
which see Wylie, p. 158. 



{Chu'fan-chih, by Chao Jii-kua of the Sung 

[i] The country of Ta-ts*in, also called Li-kan, 
is the general meeting-ground for the nations of 
the western heaven,^ and the place where the 
foreign merchants of Ta-shih [the Arabs of the 
Khalif empire] assemble. [2] Their king is styled 
Ma-lo-fou [cf. N 16]. [3] He rules at the city of 
An-tu. [4] He wears a turban of silk with gold- 
embroidered characters, and the throne he sits 
upon is covered with a silken rug. [5] They 
have walled cities and markets with streets and 
lanes. [6] In the king's dwelling they use crystal 
in making pillars ; [7] and they use plaster in lieu 
of tiles. [8] They frequently erect tabernacles with 
seven entrances all round, each holding a garrison 
of thirty men. [9] Tribute-bearers from other 
countries pay their respects below the platform of 
the [palace] steps, whence they withdraw on having 
oflFered their congratulations. [10] The inhabitants 
are tall and of bright complexion, somewhat like 
the Chinese, which has been the cause of their 
being called Ta-ts*in. [11] They have keepers of 
official records and foreign interpreters knowing 

1 Cf. translations by Hue (?) in Le Christianisme en Chine y VoL'JI, 
p. 74; and Pauthier, De VAuthenticite, etc., p. -51 seqq. 

' W 3^ ^ S> hsi-t'ien-chu-kuo, which may stand for 1S^^ p| . 
"the western part of India," to which Ta-ts'in belonged according to 
Chinese ideas, just as the Seres were looked at as an eastern appendage 
to India by the Romans. 

translations: r. 93 

their style of writing.* [12] They trim their hair 
and wear embroidered dresses. [13] They also 
have small carriages with white canopies, and flags, 
etc.; [14] and at the distance of every ten li there 
is a t4ng, and at the distance of every thirty li there 
is a hou. [15] There are in the country many lions 
who will attack travellers and may devour them 
unless they go in caravans of a hundred men and 
be protected by military equipment. [16] Under- 
neath the palace they have cut into the ground a 
tunnel communicating with the hall of worship at a 
distance of over a li. [17] The king rarely goes 
out; but, to chant the liturgy and worship, on 
every seventh day, he proceeds by way of his 
tunnel to the hall of worship where, in perform- 
ing divine service, he is attended by a suite 
of over fifty men.'* But few amongst the people 

1 Or : "and as regards writing they know the hu style ; " cf. Q 12. 
The character jfin (A); which does not appear before chieh {'^) in E 9 
and K 27, would then have to be separated from hu ( jQl) as belonging 
to the next sentence. The two sentences (12 and 13) afford a striking 
illustration of the superiority of the comparative method over the hap- 
hazard guesses of translators 4 la Pauthier. The latter {de rAuthenticite, 
etc., p. 5») translates : " II y a plusieurs sortes de magistrats k la tete 
des lettres et la litterature est tr^s-pratiquee. Tous les etrangers (JtSu- 
jtn) conservent leurs cheveux sur la tete," etc. A comparison of the 
Chinese version of these sentences with the parallel passage in the 
Chin-shu (F II) might have prevented M. Pauthier to fall into this 

* Pauthier, 1. c, translates as follows : " Sous les habitations il y a 
des caves ;• les routes sont ouvertes a tous, et chacun peut y pratiquer 
ses rites. II est permis d'avoir des chapelles a environ un li de 
distance pour y prier. Le roi sort rarement de son palais. II n'y 
fait que lire les livres sacres et faire ses devotions k Fo, Quand 


know the king's face ; if he goes out he 
sits on horseback, protected by an umbrella ; the 
head of his horse is adorned with gold, jade, 
pearls and other jewels. [i8] Every year the 
king of the country of Ta-shih [the Arabs of 
the Khalif empire] who is styled Su-tan [= Sultan] 
sends tribute-bearers, and if in the country some 
trouble is apprehended, he gets the Ta-shih to 
use their military force in restoring order. 
[19] Their food mainly consists in cooked dishes, 
cakes and meat ; they do not drink wine ; but 
they use vessels made of gold and silver, and help 
themselves to their contents by means of ladles ; 
after meals they wash hands in a golden bowl 
filled with water. [20] The products of the 
country consist in opaque glass, corals, raw gold, 
brocades, sarcenets, red cornelian stones and real 
pearls ; also the hsieh-chi-hsi, which is the same 
as the T*ung-t^ien-hsi. [21] At the beginning 
of the Yen-hsi period [A.D. 158-167 ; of. 
E 33, where the 9th year, z>., nearly the end, 
of the Yen-hsi period is given as the date] the 
ruler of this country sent an embassy who, from 
outside the frontier of Jih-nan, came to oflfer 
rhinoceros' horns, ivory and turtoise-shell, this 

viennent les reunions du septi^me jour (le dimanche), de toutes les 
routes du pays on arrive faire ses devotions dans les chapelles et 
adorer Bouddha. Chaque groupe se compose de cinquante personnes 
environ." I select this example to show that disregard of the gramma- 
tical structure of the language does not merely result in little 
inaccuracies which may be passed over in charity ; but that the 
general sense may also be lost without a trace. 

translations: r. 95 

being the first direct communication with China. 
As their presents contained no other precious 
matters and curiosities, it may be suspected that 
the ambassadors kept them back. [22] During 
the T^ai-k'ang period of the Chin dynasty [A.D. 
280-289] further tribute was brought from there. 
[23] There is a saying that in the west of this 
country there is the Jo-shui [weak water] and 
the Liu-sha [flying sands] near the place where 
the Hsi-wang-mu [western king's mother] resides, 
and where the sun sets [24] The Tu-hiian-ching- 
hsing'Chi^ says : The country of Fu-sang^ is in 
the west of the Chan country; it is also called 
Ta-ts4n. [25] The inhabitants have red and white 
faces. [26] Men wear plain clothes, but women 
wear silk stuffs beset with pearls. [27] They 
are fond of wine and dry cakes. [28] They have 
many clever weavers of silk. [29] The size of the 
country is a thousand li. [30] Their army consists 
of over 10,000 men and has to ward off the Ta-shih 
[Arabs]. [31] In the western sea there is a market 
where, a silent agreement exists between buyer 
and seller that, if the one is coming the other will 
go, and vice versd; the seller will first spread out 

1 This may be the correct title of the work quoted by Ma Tuan-Iin 
(Q 41), and there (perhaps owing to a misprint, — j^ kuci for i^ tu) 
called Kuei-huan-hsing-ching-chi. Ma Tuan-lin himself has tu (J^ in 
several other places where he apparently quotes from the same work. 

» Sic. I presume that sang ^ is a mistake for lin 5r^, cf. Q 41. 
As Ma Tuan-lin's version contains more details than the above, and 
has not this mistake, I presume that he has had the text quoted before 
him^ and does not borrow from Chao Ju-kua. 

96 translations: r. 

his goods, and the purchaser will afterwards 
produce their equivalents, which have to wait 
by the side of the articles to be sold till received 
by the seller, after which the purchase may be 
tak«n delivery of. They call this a spirit market. 


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In the following list of readings only such discrepancies "-far, jg^ 

IMI ^ 

The portions A to Q of the text have been compared As ^^ 

with palace editions of the present dynasty ; I have had no j^I -Sft 

opportunity of comparing the extract R with another edition. ^k^ -JU 

In A 3 and B 2 I have read with Ma Tuan-lin who, in his 

have been included which may possibly involve a change 
in the meaning or a difference in the sound of a name. 

description of An-hsi, copies this passage, and translated with . % • j^ 
Wylie, ^pei, north, for// Jfc. My attention was drawn by St ^^ 
Mr. E. H. Parker to the latter character being quite in order, =Sr 35? 
it being explained by J^ chi in native Dictionaries. The IM. H 
translation would thus read : "The eastern frontier was ^J JflJ 
several thousand li distant from the king's capital, and on the 
way thither one came across several cities, etc." Palace 
editions have Jfc piy I have therefore retained this character in 
the Chinese text. 

F II. The Yuan-chien-lei-hany quoting this passage, has 
f^^ i'hsi ("uncommonly well versed in — ") for ^ ^ hsi-hu. 

N 16. A Kien-lung P. Ed. has ^/«, " back," for ^ chieh, 
*' all " ; accordingly the Mi-ld-fou appears on the pile, and the 
king's name on the back of the coin. I read ^ chieh in both 
the editions of Ma Tuan-lin I had before me, in the passage 

N 17. "^yu for 3E "Oiang^ in P. Ed. 

P 41, ^.ndi passim. fH ^fan-fu for ffi ^ ssu-fu, in P. Ed. 
p 49XX. ^ su for fe 5/, in P. Ed. See also notes i to 5 
on p. 74. 

P 49«e^. ^ % mi'tieh for ^ g^ mi-mi, in P. Ed. 

P 67. IS fx -^ hsi'hsing'Chih for W JSJ -5: hsi-ho-chth, 
in P. Ed. 

P 41, 73 seqq. jR ^ for '^^ ^ iy^'lo\ in P. Ed. 

Q 22. ^apao for ^ ts^ung, in both editions. 

Q 4i» ^ h*u iox 'j^ chart f in both editions. 

Q 46. 3^ $E li'liu. Sic in both editions. 

Q 51* ^c^i for ^ Wi?, in P. Ed. 

Q 79. ^ sha for ^ 1, in P. Ed.; mine (d. d. A. D. 1524) 
has ^ i. 





Acbatana; see A-mak. 

Agriculture, E 8 ; 1 17 ; P 19. 

Alexandria ; see Ch*ih-san ; Wu- 

/ Almonds, N 6 ; Q 82. 

A-MAN (Acbatana), D 22; P 69. 

Amazons, Q 52. 

Amber, £ 22; H 2; E 32; L 35; 
P49*; Q21. 

An-hsi (Parthia), accounts of, 
A 1-5; B1-5;D 10-22; E37; 

bonndarj of, e&stern, A 1-3; 

B 1-3; D 15, 16. 

boundary of, western, D 20, 

Annam, E 83 ; H 5-8 ; 119; P50; 
Q36, 62; R 21. 

Antelopes (ling-yang)^ K 38; 
L45; Q69. 

Antioch ; see An-tu, 

Antiochia Margiana ; see Mu-lu. 

An-tu, city of (capital of Ta-ts^in), 
besieged by Arabs, K 45. 

breadth, L 15, 

22 ; I 22 ; P. 2, 76. See aUo 

An-ku; T*iao-chih; YtJ-LO. 

capital of (=Hekatompylos) 

D 10, 22; distance from eastern 
frontier, A 2 ; B 2 ; distance from 
Lo-yang, D 11; from Acbatana 
(A-man), D 22. 

first embassy from China 

to, A 1 ; B 1. 

.landroadof;D8, 22; E37. 

- sends embassies to China, 

A 4-5 ; B 4-5 ; D 17. 

trade with, E 28, 32; 

F16;H1;P24,45; Q 28, 34. 

An-ku (city on the western boun- 
dary of An-hsi), P 6, 13, 60; 
(=:^Ch'eng'ku, Q 74). 

— circumference, E 13 ; F 4 ; 1 9 ; 

city walls, E5; K 14; L 14, 

15 ; P 17. 

— clepsydra, K 19; L 18. 

— described, I 9 seqq. 

— east gate E 17 ; L 16. 
four quarters (tetrapolis) 

governed by eight magistrates, 

-magistrates residing at, 1 10-12. 
-name (An-tu) 12; Q 3 ; R 3. 
-public buildings (palaces), E 14 

seq.; P7-8; K 17-18; L 17. 
-situation K 16; P 16, 61, 63 

seqq.; Q 74, 75. 

An-tun, king of Ta-t8*in (=M. 
Aurelius Antoninus); see Embas- 
sies, etc., A.D. 166. 

Arabs ; see Ta-bbih. 



Architecture op Palaces, etc., 
eaves, pillars and window-bars 
ornamented with crystal and 
glass, K 6. 
floor-beams of fragrant wood, 

floors of yellow gold, K 20; L 19. 

kingposts ornamented with coral, 
P 5; with crystal and glass, 
L 19. 

leaves of folding doors of ivory, 
K 20; L 19. 

pillars ornamented with crystal, 
E 15; F6; P39; Q 4; R 6. 

with Se-se, K 20; L 19. 

roofs have no tiles, but are plas* 
tered, K 21, 22; L 25; N 5; 
Q81; R7. 

walls ornamented with glass, F 6. 

water led on roofs of houses to 
produce coolness, K 22 ; L 26. 

Archives; see Documents. 

Aristocracy, K 25; L 31. 

Army, L 10; N 15; Q 48, 90; R 30. 

garrisoned in tents, R 8. 

Asbestos; see Cloth. 


Bare, trees', used in weaving cloth, 

Barter (in Ceylon); see Spirit 
. Markets. 

Bears, Black, P 49'; Q 21. 

Bird of Nine Colours, Q 71. 

Bird, the King's, K 13; L 24. 

Birds, large ; see Ostriches. 

Boundaries; see Situation. 

Bows and Arrows, P 40. 

Bridge, E 40 ; P 64 ; Q 75. 

Bristles; see Hair. 

Buddhism encouraging trade be- 
tween India and China, G 3. 

Budget, E 30; Q 32. 


Cakes, people enjoy, L 32; R 19, 27. 

Camels, N 6; P 20; Q 82. 

Capital; see An-tu. 

Caravans, E39; P 32; Q 16; R 15. 

Carriages, E 11; F 12; I 16; 
K29; L 29; P 28; Q 14; R 13. 

Cereals; see Grain. 

Chan (=Sham, Syria), L 5; Q 41; 
R 24. 

Chang ch^ibn, his mission to the 
West, A 1; B 1. 

CH*±-cH*e, K 32; L 35; P 491*; 

Q 21 (see Note). 

Chi-pin (country), H 4; P 48. 

Chi-shih (the Stony Land= Arabia 
Petraea?), P 68. 

Chiang (generals?) thirty-six, in 
charge of official documents, E 18; 

Chiao-chih; see An-nam. 

Ch*ieh-lan (dependent state) P 41, 
65 seqq. ; 69. 

Chien-sha (country), P 77. 

Ch*ih-san (Alexandria?) L 6; P 9 
(cf. P 14); Q 11; cf. Wu-0H*IH- 


Ch*ih-ch*ih (red dragon,-product), 

Ch*ih-shui (red water) I 21; P 77; 
Q 63. 

Ch*ing-t*ang, country on the road 
to China, N 1; Q 77. 

Chu-ko k*o, H 10. 

Chu-lieh (product), I 18; cf. Q21; 
P49» (see Note). 



CiBXABAK (cis-tea), £ 22. 

Gmss and Markets, B 5. 

Cities, Number of, E 3; F3;K4; 
L9; P15; Q 9. 

City Walls; see Ax-tu. 

City Walls of Stone, E 5; K U; 

Clepsydra, K 19 ; L 18. 

Climate cold, N 4; Q 80. 

Cloth, Asbestos, E 23; F U; G 3; 
M2; P49- 

Chi^chang, P 44; Q 27. 

Chiavg-ti (doth?) P 49«. 

Cloth, made of silk fintMn wild sQk- 
wonns, P 44. 

O-lo-ie-pu^ P 49«. 

^Pa-feffw, P 49-'. 

Rags intenroTen witli gold, 

E 22 ; F 14 ; P 49—. 

— Skou-hsia'ta-teiig, P 49«. 

— Silk ; see Silk cloth. 

T^a-teng, fire colours of, 49**; 

cf. P44, 49«; Q 27. 
— T-ao-pu, five coloars, P 49W' 
Tou-chang (rugs), of fi?e colours, 


— To-tai'pu, P 49 

— Wen^e-pu, P 49 *». 

CJufi't^u-pu (gold-coloured 

cloth), P 49«», cf. E 23. 
.Ch^ushu (Ch^usou) five colours 

of, P49-^,cf. P44; Q 27. 

Ch^u - shu 'fa- teng - chi - chaJig 

(serge and plush rugs?), P44; 

— Curtains interwoven with gold, 
P 49<«^- 

— Damasks of various colours, 

— ^yellow gold-coloured cloth, E 23 
(cf. Chtn-fU'pu), 
— see also Rugs. 

Coins, E 27; F 15, 17; N 16; 
P 43; Q*30, 72, 91; cf. Gold 
COINS and Silver coins. 

in the Hsiian-ch'ii country, Q 71. 

in the San-t'ung country, Q 72. 

-embroidered with gold thread, 

E22; F 14 ; P49»im ; Q 85. 
— Fa4u-pu, P 49««. 
— Fei'Ch'th-ch'U'pu, P 49"-. 
— Fei'CkHh'pu, P 49«». 

-Fine (Hsi-pu), E 24; P 44; 

Q 26 ; cf. Hai'hsi'pu, 
— gold-coloured, E 23. 

-Hai'hsi'pUf i. q., Hsi-pu or Fine 

cloth q. v.; E 24; L 36 ; P 44 ; 

-made of bark (fibre?) of trees, 

-made of silk ; see Silk cloth. 

Conches (pet), F 14 ; K 82 ; L 85 ; 

Copper, P 49 « . 

Coral-fishing described, L 37 ; 

Corals, E 22 ; H 2 ; K 82 ; L 87 ; 
P49«», 68; R20. 

Coral Sea ; see Sea, Red. 

Corals used as Ornaments on King- 
post, F 5. 

Cornelian Stones, K 82; L 85; 
P49?; Q21; R 20. 

Cows, N 6 ; Q 82. 

Crystal (product), P 49««. 

used as an ornament to 

pillars, E 15 ; K 6 ; P 89 ; Q 4 ; 



Crystal, used as an ornament to 
pedestals of pillars, P 6. 

used as an ornament to 

eaves, pillars and window-bars, 

-implements and vessels made 

of, E 15 ; P 39. 
Cypress {po) trees, E 7 ; P 18. 


Dates, L 49 ; N 6 ; Q 55, 82. 

Dependent States, how many, E 4 ; 
L 12; P33, 41, 56 seqq.; Q 9. 

Desert S. W. of Fu-lin, L 46; 

Dining, Etiquette in, R 19. 

Distance of Ta-ts'in from China, 
I 4, 22 ; L 4 ; Q 6, 

Documents, Official, E 18; F 11 ; 
P35; Q 12; R 11. 

Domestic Animals, P 20; said to 
come out of water (?) P 44. 

Donkeys, P 20. 

Dress worn by the People [cf. 
King: his dress]. 

embroidered clothing, E 10 ; K 28 ; 
L28;Q 13; R 12. 

embroidered turban worn by wo- 
men (calautica?), K 24; L 31. 

foreign Qiu) dress worn, F 13; 

men's dress leaving right arm 
bare (toga), K 23 ; L 28. 

no lapels worn in front of women's 
dresses, K 24. 

pearls on women's dresses, Q 43 ; 

plain clothes worn by men, Q 43 ; 

resembling Chinese dress, 116. 

silk worn by women, Q 43 ; R 26. 

Drums, E 12; K 26, 30; L 30, 
40; N8; P28; Q 84. 

Dwarfs {tuan-jen) in China, H 10. 

or Pygmies (Jisiao-jen)^ coun- 
try of, Q 27. 


Embassies and other Missions to 

A.D. 120 (jugglers and musi- 
cians), C 2-4. 

A.D. 166 (An-tun)=E 33; H 5; 
2; Q36; R 21. 

A.D. 226 (Ts4n-lun)=H 8 seqq. 

A.D. 280-290=F 20; Q 36; 

A.D. 643 (Po-to-li;=K 34; 
L41; Q66. 

A.D. 667=K 36. 

A.D. 701=K 37. 

A.D. 666 to 701=L 44; Q 68. 

A.D. 719=K 38, 39; L 45; 


A.D. 1081.=N 3 ; Q 79. 

A.D. 1091=N 17; Q 92. 

A.D. 1368 (about)=0 6 seqq.; 
cf. 9. 

A.D. 1583 (Matthaeus Ricci) 
=0 10. 

how received in Ta-ts'in, 

E31; F17; Q 33; R 9. 

Embassy from China to An-hsi 
(Parthia), A 1 seqq.; B 1 seqq. 

Embroideries; see Cloth; Dress. 


Feather Bag (hair or wooDen 
bag?): a mode of inflicting capital 
punishment, N 14; Q 89. 

FfiNG-Niu (Zebu ?), D 7. 



Fbstivals, L 51; Q 60; R 17. | 

Flags and Banners, E 12; F 12; ! 
116; K30; L 30; P 28; Q 14: I 
R 13. j 

Flying Sands; see Liu-sha. 

Food of the People, R 19. 

Fu-LiN i.q. Ta-t8*in, K 1 ; L 1 ; 1, 
4,5; Q41, 93. 

Fu-NAN (country), H 6. 

Fu-PA (an animal), D 17, 18. 

Fu-SANG, wrongly used for Fu-lin, 


Gems; see Precious Stones. 

Glass, E 22; F 6; K 6, 34; 
P 49^ (ten colours), Q 21; R 20. 

red, sent to China as tribute 

(A.D. 643), K34; L41; Q 66. 

the best manufactured in 

Ta-ts'in, Q 46. 

used as an ornament to walls. 

F 6 ; to eaves, pillars and window- 
bars, K 6. 

Gold, E22; F 14; K 31; L 35; 
N 6; P 49«; Q 21, 82; R 19-20. 

Gold Coins, E 27, 31; F 15, 17; 
N 16; P43; Q 30, 33, 72, 91. 

Gold, Southern (nan-chin) P 49**. 

Gold, Yellow, K 17; L 16, 20. 

Government; see King. 

Government Officials: Thirty-six 
chiang (generals?) in charge 
of official documents, discussing 
government matters, E 18; 
P37; cf. F 11; Q 12; R 11. 
eight officials ruling over the four 
quarters of the country, I 11. 

eight officials ruling over the four 
quarters of the city ^tetra- 
polis), who advise the king 


in matters not decided by the 
country officials, I 11-13. 

twelve ministers (kuei^h'en, 
bishops?) in charge of govern- 
ment during the T'ang dynasty, 
K 7; L 20. 

ministers (kuei-ch^efiy bishops?) 
during the Sung dynasty ; their 
mode of dressing, N 10; Q 86. 

shou-lingy or chiefs of towns 
and districts, during the Sung 
dynasty, N 12; Q 87. 

Government, Peaceful, I 8; N 15; 

well regulated, P 26 ; see 

also Budget, Postal Arrange- 
ments, etc. 

Grain, E30; I 17; N 6; P 19; 


Hai-hsi and Hai-tung, the terms, 
used in opposition, P 44, 69; 

Hai-hsi-kuo t.q, Ta-ts4n, C 3 ; El; 
F2; L3; P7, 48; Q 2. 

Hai-pei-chu-kuo (the countries on 
the north of the sea), E 40; cf. 
P 13, 50. 

Hai-tung-chu-kuo (the countries on 
the east of the sea), P 44; cf. 
P 69; Q27. 

Hair, custom of cutting, E 9 ; K 23, 
27; L27; Q 13; R 12. 

Hair, red (?), I 18; P 49»; Q 21. 

Hei-shui (" Black water," the 
western terminus of the world, — 
Okeanos?), P 77. 

Hekatompylos ; see An-hsi (capital 

Hemp (ma), I 17; (ch'ih) P 42. 

Hills, ranges of, 121; P 69, 77 ; 



HiRA (=Yu-lo), see Ytj-Lo; cf. 


Horses, I 18; K 26; L 40; N 6; 

P20; P49^; Q 82. 
— — fed on fish, L 49; Q 55. 
saddled, sent as tribute, N 3 ; 


Ho-Ti, emperor, C 1-4. 

Ho-TU (capital of An-hsi=Heka- 
tompylos), D 10. 

Hsi-NtJ-Kuo; see Amazons. 

Hsi-wANG-MU, E34; 121; P 77; 
Q37, 63, 71; R 23. 

Hsiao-j±n; see Dwarfs. 

HsiEH-CHi-Hsi, E 22; F 14; K 32; 
P49>; Q 19; R 20. 

HsiKN-TU (dependent state), P 41, 
67, 70. 

HstAN-cH't) (country), Q 71. 

HstJN-HstJN, religion, Q 58-59. 

HstJN-Lu (incense, gum olibanum ?) 
P 49fl'fl'fl'; 

Hu-LiNG (foreign damask), made of 
silk imported from China, P 45 ; 

Hu-mang; see Dates. 

Hui-HO, country on the road to 
China, N 1 ; Q 77. 


I-CHou ; see Yung-ch*ang. 

Imitations and Sham Curiosities, 
E 41. 

Incense and Fragrant Drugs, 
(names being mostly doubtful), 

P 49«<' seqq. 

India ; see T*ien-chu. 

Inhabitants described, E 21 ; 

F 13; 116; P 23; Q 18,40,42; 

R 10, 25. 
honest in trade, E 29 ; Q 81. 

Inhabitants, licentiousness amongst, 
L 50 ; Q 59 (Hsiin-hsiin). 

Interpreters, F 11; P 25 ; Q 12; 
R 11. 

twofold, sent to China 

by the king of Shan, C 1. 

Iron, P 49^. 

Ivory, E 33; P 49<; Q 36, 72; 

I-wei-mu-±rh (product) P 49 ««« . 


Jade and other Precious Stones. 
Chin-pi, H 2. 
Ching-pi, E 22. 
Ching-shih (blue stone), P 48. 
ChHu-lin, I 18; P 49« 
Chiu-se-shih, P 47. 
Fu'tsai-yu, P 49«*. 
Mei-huei (garnets?), P 49^. 
Pi (serpentine ?), P 49^. 
Se-se, K20; L 19. 
Tzu-yii, P47. 
Fm, ten colours of, P 49*'; see 

also the articles CH*6-CH*tJ; 

Cornelian Stones; Crystal; 

Hsieh-chi-hsi, Kingfishers' 

Gem ; Yeh-kuang-pi ; and Lt- 


Jewel that shines at Night ; 
see Yeh-kuang-pi. 

Jih-nan; see Annam. 

Jo-SHUi (weak water), E 34; P 3; 

Q 37, 71; R23. 
Judaea, Ta-ts*in identified with, by 

Ricci, O 10 {see Note). 

Jugglers frequent, L 33; P 21; 

from Li-kan sent to China by 

embassy from An-hsi (Par- 
thia), A 5 ; B 5. 

from Ta-ts*in sent to China by 

the king of IShan, C 2-8. 




Sjik-yino sent in search of Ta-ts'in, 
D 19, seq.; P 19. 

K'ang-ghO, a country in the north 
of An-hsi, D 12. 

Ehotbk, on the road to China, N 1 ; 

Kino, haying to sanction the deci- 
sions of his councillors, I 18. 

his hird, E 13 ; L 24. 
his cap, K 11; L 28. 
his clerical functions, N 10; 

Q86; R17. 
his dress, L 23; N 9; Q 85; 

R 4, 17. 

his horse, B 17. 

his religion, M 4. 

his residence, I 10. 

his title or name, N 16; Q91; 

his throne, E 12; L 24; R 4. 

may he deposed if a calamity 
visits the country, E 20 ; F 10; 
E 10; L22; P 22; Q 17. 

meting out justice, E 16-17; 

F 9; I Useq.; KS; L 21; 

P 86, 88. 
seldom seen by the people, R 17. 

EiKODOM not hereditary, E 19; 
E9; P22; Q 17. 

EiNOFiSH&Rs' Gsic, Q 3; E 82; 

E'o^A-FV (the Ehozar Turks), 

Etbsipbon; see Ssu-pin. 


Lambs ; see Watbbshbef. 

Lang-kak (a kind of coral?), E 22 ; 
H2; 118; P49*«- 

Lao-po-ba (a country inhabited by 
black tribes), L 46 seqq* 

Law, criminal, and capital punish- 
ment, N 14; Q 89; banishment 
Q 45 ; forbidding the counterfeit- 
ing of coins, N 16 ; Q 91. 

Law; see Eing meting out justice. 

Lead, P 49 «• 

Li (sss^V ^^^^ ^' ^^^> ^'^'i parasang), 
E 38;L 11; P31;Q15; R 14. 

Li-KAK (or Li-kin) t. q. Ta-ts*in, 
E 1; Fl; II; P5; Ql; Rl. 

Li-KAN, jugglers from, sent to China 
by Parthia, A 5 ; B 5. 

Lions, in T*iao-chih, D 7; in Ta- 
ts*in, E 39; E 38; L 45; P 32; 
Q 16, 69; R 15. 

Lions offered by An-hsi (Parthia), 
D 17,21. 

LiTERATURB flourishing, M 5. 

Liu-Li; see Olass. 

Liu-SHA or Flying Sands, E 34; 
P77; Q37; R 23. 

Lo-TANG, capital of China, D 10, 16. 

Lt-cHiN-oHiNG (green gold gem or 
powder?), E 34; L 41 ; Q 66. 

Lt-F&N (dependent state), L 13; 
P 41, 60, 62 seqq.; Q 74, 75. 


Ma-lo-fou, the king's title, R 2. 
(cf. Mi-lA-fou). 

Man-k*©, king of An-hsi ( A.D. 102), 

Mbdicinb; se^PsTSioiANs; Theriao. 

MiBH-Li-i-LiNG KAI-8A Sending em- 
bassy in A.D. 1081, N 3; Q 79. 

MiEH-Li-SHA (country or ruler)- 
S. W. of Fu-lin, N 1 ; Q 76. 

M1-L&-F0U, the king's name, cast on 
coins, N 16; Q 91. 

Milestones, E 6. 
MiLLBT,N6; Q82. 



MiLLiARY System; see Postal 

Mo-i (=Moavia), a general of the 
Ta-shih (Arabs), K 35; L 42. 

Mo-LiN (a country inhabited by 
black tribes), L 46 seqq.; Q 53 

Money; see Coins. 

Moonshine Pearl; see Pearls. 

M6uRU; see Mu-lu. 

Mulberry Tree, E 8; 1 17. 

Mules, P 20. 

Mu-LU (city in An-hsi,==Antiochia 
Margiana, Mourn j, 15. 

Mu-nan; see Pearls. 

Musical Instruments, N 8 ; Q 84. 
See also Drums. 

Musicians from Ta-ts'in sent to 
China by king of JShan, C 2-4. 


Negro (?) tribes, L 47 ; Q 54, 67 ; 
cf. Mo-LiN and Lao-po-sa. 

Nestorians ; see Priests. 

NiBH-KU-LUN (=Nicolaus de Ben- 
tra), his journey to China, 6. 

Ni-ssij-tu-ling ssij-mAng-p'an, his 
mission to China, N 3 ; Q 79. 


Orpiment, P 49w- 

Ostriches (large birds), D 7, 21. 

eggs sent from An-hsi to 

China, A 5; B5; D 7. 


Palaces, E 14 seqq.; P 27, 86. 
See also Architecture ; and An- 
tu, city of : public buildings. 

Pa-LAN (dates? chestnuts?), N 6 
{see Note) ; Q 82. 

Pai-pu-tzC (a plant), P 49-^- 

Pan Ch*ao's expedition (A.D, 97), 

Parthia ; see An-hsi. 

Peacocks, D 7 cf. Bird of Nine 

Pearls, generally, N 6; P 68 ; Q 82. 

Chu'Chi, H 2. 

Ming-chu (shining v pearl), 

F 14; I 18. 

-Moonshine, or Ming-yUeh- 

chu, E 22; K 32; L 35; M 2; 

P49W; Q 21. 

'Mu-nan, L 35 (see Note); 

Q 24 (see Note). 

Real, N 3; P 68; Q 79; 


Real White, P 49^. 

She-chu^ G 3. 

Worn by women, Q 44 ; R 26. 

Pears, N 6 ; Q 82. 

Persia; see Po-ssu. 

Petitions, how received by the King ; 
see King meting out justice. 

Physicians, L 34; Q 61. 

Pine (sung) trees, E 7; P 18. 

P*i-TU-SHU (poisonous rat?) P 49»; 

Plantains, Q 72. 

Plants, E 17; P 18. 

Plaster used in covering postal 
stations and milestone^, E 6. 

used in covering roofs, K 21 ; 

L25(?); R7. 

Po-Li ; see Glass. 

Population, E 38 ; F 3 ; I 8 ; K 6, 
15; P30, 54; Q 7. 

Po-ssu (Persia), bounding on Fu- 
lin, K2; L 7. 

Postal Arrangements, E 6, 81, 
38; F 12; L 11; P 28, 31,32; 
Q 15, 3S ; R 14. 



Po-TQ-Li, his Mission to China, 
K34; L41; Q 66. 

Precious Stones, generally, D 23; 

E 22, 26,41; F14;G3; Hi; 

120; K 31; 921, 63. 
Ta-ts4n a depository pf produce 

from other countries, E 26; 

for various kinds; see Jade, &c. 

Priests (ra-f6-5ew^=Nestorians?) 
offering tribute at the Chinese 
Courtin A.D. 719; K 89. 
clerical (?=<e, virtuous) rulers, 

Prisoners, how dealt with, Q 45. 

Products, passim; for long list of, 
see P 49. 

Pu-LA, sent to Fu-lin, 9. 

Punishments; see Law. 

Pygmies, see Dwarfs. 


Bank conferred on the rich. K 35 ; 

Rats, see P*i-tu-shu. 
Realgar, P 4cd9ff. 
Red Water, see Ch*ih-shui. 
Rekem (Petra) see Li-kan. 
Religion, Q 58; Christian, M 4. 

Rhinoceros, D 7. 

Rhinoceros' Horns, E 33 ; 6 3; 
Q 36, 72 ; R 21. 

Ricci, Matthaeus, his arrival at 
the Chinese court alluded to, O 10. 

River op Ta-ts'in (the Nile?), P 8. 

Roads, E 89 ; P 82. 

Robberies unknown, E 39 ; M 3 ; 


Roofs of Houses, how constructed, 
K 21, seq.; L25; N6; Q81; 

how watered, K 21 seq.; L 26. 

Routes between China and Ta- 


1. from Hekatompylos (capital of 
An-hsi) to Yii-lo on the western 
boundary of An-hsi, D 8, 22. 

2. from T*iao-chih, An-ku, or Yii- 
lo (Hira), the terminus of the 
Parthian land-road, by sea to 
Ta-ts4n (gulf of Akabah), 
D20, 22; E 37 (?); F 18, 19; 
I 3 ; I 22 ; P 6, 29 (?) ; Q 5, 64. 

3. overland (from An-ku on the 
Euphrates?) to Ta-ts'in, P 13, 
50, 51; cf, the accounts of 
countries near the Parthian 
frontier, P 58-76 ; perhaps also 
E 37 to 40 ; P 29. 

4. by sea direct from Ta-ts*in to 
Annara, E 33 ; H 5-7; I 19; 
P50;Q36, 62;R21. 

5. by sea direct from Ta-ts*in to 
Birmah into Yiin-nan, I 19 ; 

6. from Wn-ch*ih-8an (Alexan- 
dria?) to Ta-ts*in (Antioch?), 

7. overland through Central Asia 
during the Sung dynasty, N 1. 

Rugs, gold-embroidered, E 22; P 14; 

Rushes (?), P 18. 


San-t*ung (country), Q 71-72. 

Sea, countries north, east and west 
of the western — ; see Hai-hsi, 
Hai-pei, Hai-tung. 

Sea, Mediterranean, L 6 ; P 8-9, 
14; Q 10,50,63. 

Sea, Red (=Hai-hsi, Coral Sea, 
Chang-hai), I 5 ; M 1 ; P 68 ; 
Q 29, 50. 



Sea, Webtbrn, described, D 19; 
F18, 19;P5, 46;Q36. 

the city of T*iao-chih 

on its coast, D 3, 19. 

— — — Ta-ts4Q or Fu-lin on its 

coast, F 2 ; K 1, 16 ; L 1. 

Shan (country in the S.W. of 
Cliina), C 1-4. 

Shan-li ; see Wu-i-shan-li. 
Shbbp, N 4; Q 82. cf. Watbr- 


Shui-tang; see Watbr-shbbp. 

Shui-yang-t8*ui ; see Cloth, Fine. 

8hu-yu (country), P 77. 

Silk, Chinese, imported for re- 
mannfacture, P 45 ; Q 28. 

cloth, B 22, 32 ; N 6 ; P 44, 

45, 49«« ; Q 82 ; R 20. 

— cultivation of, E 8, 24 ; I 17 ; 

— - ling-kan-'Wen^ Q 28. 

trade, Partbians monopolizing, 

E 32 ; P 24, 45 ; Q 28, 34. 
weavers, Q 44; R 28. 
worms, E 8, 24; P 20, 44. 
worn by women, Q 43, 

Silver, E 22; K 31; L 35; N 6; 
P49J^; Q21, 82;R19. 

coins, E 27; F 15; N 16; 

P43; Q30, 91. 

Situation of Ta-ts*in and Fu-lin, 
I 5, 7; K 1-2; L 2, 6; M 1; 
Nl; P5; Q 76. 

Size of the Country ; see Territory. 

Spirit market, L 38 ; Q 51; R 31. 

S^u-pu (dependent state), P 41, 
67-69, 71, 72 seqq. 

Ssu-LO (Seleucia), P 74 seq. 

Ssu -pin (Ktesiphon), D 22 ; P 69. 

Ssu-t*ao (country), P 66. 

Stort Land, the; ^ee Chi-bbih. 

Storax {Su-ho), B 25; H 2-8; 
M 2 (? life-restoring incense); 
P 49*«; Q 20. 

Su-lA (Kashgar?), P 48. 

Sun-oh'Oan, emperor of China ( Wn), 
H 8-10. 

Son, place where it sets, £ 84, S5; 
123; P4; Q 37, 65 ; R 23. 

Sword-rlades sent to China as 
Tribute, N 3; Q 79. 

Su-tan (Sultan) of the Ta-shih, 


Tarernacles, R 8. 

Ta-hsia Tcountry in the west of 
Ta-t84n), P 77. 

Ta-shih (the Arabs of the Khalif 
empire) making war to, besieging 
the capital of, and conquering 
Fu-lin, K 35 ; L 42-43 ; Q 49, 
67 ; R 30. 

assemble in Ta-ts*in for trade, 

assist Fu-lin with their army 

R 18. 

-in the east of Fu-lin, 1^1; 


-religion, Q 58, 60. 

Ta-ta, country on the road to Cliiiia, 

Ta-t£-s£ng; see Priests. 

Ta-ts'in identified with Judaea by 
Ricci, 10. 

^name explained, E 21 ; 1 16 

P23; Q 18; R 10. 

religion, Q 58, 61. 

•so called during Han, OUn 

and Wei dynasties, 1, 3. 

Tai (capital of China during the 
Wei dynasty), I 4. 



T'jtLi-Tstr, emperor of the Ming, O 7 

T'ai-tsuno, emperor of the T'ang, 

Taurus, ramge of hills, alluded to, 

Taxbs, N 18 ; Q 88. 

Tents for soldiers, R 8. 

Territory, E2; P3; 16; K3; 
L8; M6; P 15, 55; Q 8,47; 

Thbriao ; see Ti-ybh-ka. 

T'lAo-OHiH (Ghaldaea, the country 
of Yu-lo, Hira) D 1-9; E 35- 
86; I 3, 23; P 1-4 ;Q 5. 

■ I Kan-ying arrives in, D 19 

■ Ptedous stones from, P 48. 

T<iXK-CHu (India), traffic with, by 
sea, E 28; F 16; G 1 ; H 1. 

Tigers, E 39 ; P 32. 

Tigris River (?), D 22 ; P 75. 

Tin, P 49/- 

Tl-YEH-KA, K 36. 

Tokharestan; see Tu-huo-lo. 

Tortoises and Tortoise shell, 
E 33; P 49*; Q 36; R 21. 
Shen-kuei, 1 18; P 49ii'; Q 21. 

Tou-NA (a fragrant substance?), 

Trade, inhabitants honest in, E 29; 

Parthians monopolizing, in 
silk, between China and Ta-ts'in, 
E32; P24,45; Q 28, 34. 

-profit derived from maritime. 

E28; F16. 

-Ta-t8*in centre of Western, 

R 1 ; especially in precious stones, 

Trade, with Parthia a»d &idia, E 28; 
F16; HI; P24, 45; Q 28, 34. 

Trees, all kinds of, B 7-8. 

Bamboos, P 18. 
Huai (Sophora?), P 18. 

P o; see Cypress trees. 

Poplars, P 18. 

Sung; see Pine trees. 

Tzu (Euphorbia?), P 18. 

Willows, P 18. 

Wu-t^ung (EleocoGca Ver- 

rucosa?), P 18. 

Trepanning, L 34; Q 61. 

T8&-SAN (dependent State), L 13; 
P 41, 58 seqq.; Q 74. 

Ts*iN-LUN (a traveller from Ta-ts'in), 

Ts<UNG (a quadruped), L 39 ; Q 22. 

T*u-CH*eEH (Turks), L 5 ; Q 50. 

Tu-HUo-Lo (Tokharestan), K 38; 
L 45; Q 69. 

Tung-king; see Annam. 

Tunnel leading from the king^s 
palace to the hall of TrofShip, 


Vases, gold, pairs, received from 
China, N 17; Q 92. 


Water led over roofs to produce 
coolness, K 21 seqq; L 26. 

Water-sheep, cloth made from 
wool of, E 24; L 36; P 44; 

■ described, K 26; 

L 40; Q 28. 



Weak Water; see Jo-shui. 

Week of seven days alluded to, 
L51; Q 60; R 17. 

Western King's Mother; see Hsi- 


Wheat, N 6; Q 82. 

Wine, Fu-lin people make and 
enjoy, L 32; N7; Q83; R27; 
the people do not drink wine, 

Wu-CH*iH-sAN (city^Alexandria?) 
P 14; cf. Ch*ih-san. 

Wu-i (country), E 36. 

Wu-i-SHAN-Li (country or countries), 
D 12 ; cf. Wu-i. 

Wu-TAN (city), P 10. 

Wu-ti, the emperor, sends an em- 
bassy to An-hsi (Parthia), A 1; 



Yang-sa-lo (country near the desert 
in the S. W. of Fa-Un,==Jeru. 
salem?), Q 53. 

Yano-ti, emperor of the Sui dynasty, 
wishing for traffic with Ta-ts*in, 

Yeh-kuang-fi or " Jewel that shines 
at night," E 22; F 14; I 18; 
K32; L35; M2; P 49* (^eh- 
kimng-chu); Q 21. 

Yi-chou; see Yung-ch*ang. 

YuNG-cH*ANG (district in Yiin*nan), 
I 19; P.50; Q 62. 


at one time a market for 

Ta-ts4n produce, P 50. 

YuNG-CH*tN (country in the south of 
Ta-ts4n), Q 38. 

Ydng-yu-tiao, King of Shan, C 1-4. 

YtJ-CHiN (a kind of turmeric) H 2, 
4; P 49***- 

YtJEH-cHiH (Bactria), P 77- 

Yt5-Lo (Hira), D 22; P 41, 73 seqq. 

YtN-oHiAo-HsDN Cakind of incense?) 
P 49»«- 

YtN-NAN; see Yung-ch*ang. 

YO-TiEN (Khoten), during the Sung 
a station on the road to China, 
Nl; Q77. 


Zebu ; see FI^ng-niu. 



*>', ■'. 





* ^ 




• <, 




In attempting to trace the ancient route from 
antral Asia to the country of Ta-ts4n, it is of 
le greatest importance to determine the situation 
f another country which, in the oldest Chinese 
3Cords, has always been mentioned together with 
Vts*in, or with Li-kan, as it was then called. In 
le chapter regarding Ta-wan by Ssu-ma Ch'ien 
Sktk'Chty ch. 123, lieh-chuan, 63), it is said that 
Li-kan and T*iao-chih are several thousand li west 
f An-hsi." This must be information brought to 
hina by Chang Ch4en, the first explorer of 
estern countries, about B.C. 120, and we 
re probably safe in assuming that the country 
f Ta-ts*in, under its old name Li-kan, was not 
nown to the Chinese previous to that period. 
Ivan then, the Chinese did not probably know 
luch more than that Li-kan was the name of 

country in the far west, whence, in all pro- 
ability, certain products reached China through 
le hands of intermediary nations, especially 
le. Parthians, in exchange for large quantities 
F kilk bought up by the merchants of Li-kan. 
he Chinese were probably aware of the import- 
ice of both these countries; why, otherwise, should 


the Chinese general Pan Ch'ao, two centuries later, 
have sent his lieutenant Kan-ying on an exploring 
expedition to them (D 19 seqq.)? The Chinese 
then did not even know much about the relative 
position of the two countries. So great was their 
ignorance in this respect before Kan-ying's dis- 
covery, that Li-kan, t.e.^ Ta-ts'in, was believed to 
be the nearer country and T*iao-chih the more 
distant one (P i). 

At the close of the first century A.D., the 
general Pan Ch*ao, a brother of Pan Ku, the author 
of the ChHen-han-shu^ proceeded to the west with 
apparently peaceful intentions.* He then came 
to the borders of the kingdom of An-hsi which his 
subordinate Kan-ying traversed from east to west. 
Kan-ying, we learn from the Hou-han-shu 
(D 19-20), arrived in T*iao-chih and was there 
persuaded not to undertake the passage to Ta-ts*in. 
We learn from the same passage that T*iao-chih 
was so situated that ships could start from its city 
and sail to Ta-ts4n, and that it was on the western 
frontier of An-hsi (cf. P 2). In order to find 
the site of T'iao-chih, therefore, the question firs|: 
to be settled is the identity of the country oif 

The ChHen-han-shu (ch. 96-^, chuan, 66 A) 

1 Klaproth and Remusat, and with them Humboldt and oth^, 
entertained the idea, quite unsupported by Chinese authorities, of Pan 
Ch'ao's military designs against Ta-ts'in. Messrs. £. C. Taintof: and 
A. Wylie, in reply to a question regarding the subject, have shown 
the fallacy of this assumption in Notes and Queries on China and 
Japan, Vol. II (z868), pp. 60 and 153. 


says with regard to An-hsi: "The king of thel 
country of An-hsi rules at the city of P*an-tou 

(^ %)* ; its distance from Chiang- an is ii,6oo li. , 
The country is not subject to a tu-hu [a Chinese 
governor in Central- Asiatic possessions]. It 
bounds north on K'ang-chii, east on Wu-i- 
shan-li, west on T*iao-chih. The soil, climate, 
products, . and popular customs are the same 
as those of Wu-i and Chi-pin. They also make 
coins of silyer, which have the king's face on 
the obverse, and the face of his consort on the 
reverse. When the king dies, they cast new 
coins. They have the ta-ma-ch*uo [a bird, the 
description of which by the Chinese commentator 
answers to an ostrich]. Several hundred small and 
large cities are subject to it, and the country is 
several thousand li in extent, that is, a very large 
country. It lies on the banks of the Kuei-shui 
[Oxus]. The carts and ships of their merchants 

* Several examples suggest to me, as they did to others, the proba- 
bility of an affinity of some kind between a final r in western Asiatic 
names and a Chinese final n. An^ar in An-hsi, t,e, Arsak, the name 
for Parthia; and perhaps in An-ku = Orchoe (P 6, 13 and 60); also 
possibly in Yen-ts'ai or An-ts'ai (^ ^), the name of a country in 
the north of Parthia, which, during the After Han, was changed into 
A-lan-na (Kl W Sl^)* ^"^^ which I identify with the Aorsi of Strabo, 
and the Alani of other writers (" Sarmatie Asiatique," de Guignes, 
Histoire des Huns, Vol. II, p. XCI). I do not hesitate, therefore, to 
identify the name P'an-tou with old Persian Partkuva, the origin 
of Herodotus' Hapdoty if not the city of HapOavvtxra of Isidorus 
Characenus, held to have been the same as Hekatompylos by Mannert 
(see Karl MUller ad Isid. Mansiones Parthicae, is, in Geographi Graeci 
Minores, Vol. 2, p. 353). Cf. Kieperti Lehrbtich der alien Geographie, 
p. 65 seq. 


go to the neighbouring countries. They write on 
leather [parchment], and draw up documents in 
rows running sideways. [Here follows the passage 
B I to 5]. In the east of An-hsi are the Ta-yiieh- 
chih." ' 

The above account, as describing matters known 
from records of the former Han dynasty, refers to 
the first and second centuries B.C. The country 
j best answering its details at that period is the 
\ Parthian kingdom.^ It extended to the banks of 
the Oxus ; the Parthians were the middle-men in 
trade between Central and Western Asia. Some 
of their coins have been shown to contain the face 
of a king on the obverse and that of a woman on 
the reverse ^ ; they used, like other nations of 
western Asia, the horizontal way of writing, though 
Rawlinson* says that, in the earlier times, the writ- 
ing material commonly used was linen, and shortly 
before the time of Pliny, papyrus. Finally, lin- 
guistic grounds, which, as a matter of principle, I 

1 Cf. translation by Wylie in *' Notes on the Western Regions/' 
yaurn. Anthrop, Inst,, Aug. 1880. 


' The identity was apparently first recognised, though not proved 
in detail, by de Guignes {Hist, des Huns, Vol II, p. 51). Visdelou, 
whose work ("Monument de la Religion Chretienne, etc., en Chine" in 
d'Herbelot's Bibliotheque Orientate, Vol. IV, p. 369 seqq.) appeared after 
de Guignes', but was written before its publication, translated An-hsi 
by Assyria; so did Neumann {Asiat, Studien, p. 157). 

3 Wylie, 1. c, quotes Rawlinson's description of a Parthian coin : 
" The coins of Phraataces have on one side his head, which is b^ng 
crowned by two Victories; on "the other the head of Musa [his 
mother], etc." \The Sixth Great Oriental Monarchy, p. 220.] 

* The Sixth Great Orient, Man,, p.p. 434-435, quoted by Wylie, /. c. 


do not wish to consider except when strongly 
supported by the identification of other facts, point 
to Parthia in the two names P'an-tou (=Parthuva) 
and An-hsi (=Arsak). 

The description of An-hsi appearing in the Hou^ 
han-shu quite corresponds with what we know 
through Pliny of Parthia during the corresponding 
period. At that time the country had consider-^ 
ably gained in extent, and its boundaries had been 
moved farther west. The capital was then, as 
before, at the city called by Greek writers Heka- 
tompylos. This name, meaning **the city of a 
hundred gates," is not the original Parthian name, 
but a Greek word intended to express the central 
position of the city, which, through its many gates 
was considered the terminus of all the land-roads 
of the country. The Parthian name has not been 
preserved in western authors, but we may safely 
accept the clue contained in the Chinese histories, 
as there can be no doubt that the Hekatompylos of 
Greek and Roman writers, being the chief capital 
of the empire, is identical with the city of P*an-tou 
(Parthuva ?) mentioned in the ChHen-han-shu and 
with the city of Ho-tu (old sound Wodok?0 
mentioned in the Hou-han-shu (D lo). 

The same account says: "On its eastern 
frontier is the city of Mu-lu, which is called little 
An-hsi [Parthia Minor]; it is 20,000 li distant 

: ^> 

1 Possibly Vologesia, as at Pan Ch'ao's time Vologeses I (A.D. 90 
to 107) was king of Parthia, who may have re-named his capital. 
Vologesia was also the name of a city in Babylonia. 


from Lo-yang" (D 15-16.) As the distance, 
from Lo-yang, of the capital city of Ho-tu is 
stated to have been 25,000 li, the distance 
between Ho-tu and Mu-lu must have been 5,000 
li. I propose to show hereafter my reasons for 
assuming that the li of Chinese records are, in 
these countries where the Greek mode of measur- 
ing distances was combined with the Persian 
method (stadia, schoeni, parasangae), corresponds 
to the stadium of western itineraries. This will 
furnish the key to quite a number of puzzles, of 
which the relative sites of the cities of Ho-tu and 
Mu-lu would be one, but for the knowledge pre- 
served of both the capital and the eastern frontier 
district in Pliny, Strabo, and other authorities.* 
This eastern out-station of Parthia, which lay on 
the road to China, is there called Margiana ; its city 
was the city of Antiochia, the old Bactrian name 
of which is mentioned in the Vendidad section of 
the Zend-Avesta, as M6uru, the ihediaeval Merw.* 

1 Plin., Nat, Hist,, rec. Detlefsen, VI, 15 (17), 44: ipsum vero 
Parthiae caput Hecatompylos - - - ; and ibid, 16 (18), 46 : where the 
isolated Parthian dependency Margiana is described; Strab., c. 510 
(Meineke); cf. Bunbury, Hist, of Ancient Geogr,, Vol. II, p. 412. 

2 "The Zend-Avesta," translated by J. Darmesteter, in Max 
Mtiller's The Sacred Books of the East, Vol. IV, pp. 2-6, and 
Vol. XXIII, p. 123. Cf. Kiepert, Lehrbuch der alten Geograpkie\ p. 58. 
Mr. Parker draws my attention to Bretschneider's identification of the 
mediaeval Merw with the names Ma-Iu (,!§ 4r) ^"^^ Ma-li-wu 
(Jilt £ X) ^n Ytian records {j&ee Bretschneider, Notes on Chinese 
Mediaeval Travellers to the West, pp. 8 and 77, or Chinese Recorder, 
Vol. V, pp. 120 and 325). The former name occurs in the Yuan-shih, 
the latter on the Chinese map of Western Asia called YSan-ching^shik' 
ta'tien-ti'li-t^u ( JC 8 IK A H M 3 ■)' of the Ydan period, 



The identity of this name (M6uru) with Chinese 
Mu-lu is too suggestive to be passed over as an 
accidental similarity; for the distance of 5,000 
stadia laid thence across the H}rrcanian hills in a 
westerly direction takes us just to the neighbour- 
hood of the probable site of Hecatompylos, the 
capital. ^ 

From all we may conclude from the traditions 
handed down in the Han records, T4ao-chih was 
first a powerful kingdom, more powerful even than 
An-hsi (Parthia), as we may read between the lines 
in a passage of the Wei-lio (P 2) : this I presume 

though the copy before me, a re-print in the Hai-kuo-tu-chihy has, 
probably by mistake, chiu (tL) for wu (^C)* Both these names 
(Ma-lu and Ma-li-wu) are clearly meant to be identical in sound with 

1 See Bunbury, 1. c. Vol. I, p. 479. As the site of Hecatompylos 
is, in ancient geography, still one of the many points in dispute, the 
distances east (to Mduru, D 10-16) and west (to A-man,«Acbatana, 
D 22) as stated in the Hou-han-shUy deserve some consideration. The 
5,000 li (stadia) west of Mduru take us to the neighbourhood of 
modem Damghan, and not to the neighbourhood of Djadjerm, which 
site is merely about 3,500 stadia west of Mduru. On the other hand 
the country of A-man, which I ani going to identify with the region 
of Acbatana, is stated to be 3400 li (stadia) west of An-hsi (here=^ 
"capital of Parthia"). This is just about the distance in stadia from 
Acbatana to the neighbourhood of Damghan ; the Djadjerm site would 
have been about 4,800 stadia east of Acbatana. This seems to me a 
palpable proof that, whatever confusion may have prevailed in the ; 

minds of the most enlightened geographers of antiquity with regard to 
China, Chinese historians were sufficiently well informed with regard 
to western geography not only to confirm the testimony of ancient 
western authors, but even in some instances to furnish supplementary 
information where our own classical literature £uls. 


refers to the period when Parthia was confined to 
its original territory in the east. In the first and 
second centuries A.D. Parthia had extended its 
boundaries to the west of the Euphrates. It is 
scarcely necessary to dwell on the classical sources 
of ancient geography in order to show that the 
western boundary ran along the upper course of 
the Euphrates from Samosata down to the Baby- 
lonian territory : here it began to branch oflF to the 
west towards the Syrian desert, embracing the 
cultivated tracts outside the Chaldaean Lake and 
the Pallacopas Canal, which connected a rich and 
densely-populated province by means of a navig- 
able^ channel with the coast of the Persian 
Gulf. The following reasons have determined me 
to identify this region, the country of Babylonia 
or Chaldaea, with the T4ao-chih of Chinese 

Its political relations with Parthia correspond to 
those represented in the Chinese records as exist- 
ing between T*iao-chih and An-hsi. The earliest 
mention of the country appears in the CkHen- 
han-shu^ which embraces the period B.C. 206 to 

1 It is doubtful whether the Pallacopas was used as a channel for 
navigation, or the Euphrates itself. iSee Bunbury, /. c, Vol. I, p. 524.) 
However, so much seems certain, that maritime trade extended to the 
ports in the Chaldaean Lake. According to Masudi, sea-going ships 
entered" from the Persian Gulf during the fifth century (Yule, Caihay, 
Vol. I, p. LXXVII), and, whether in the original sea-going barges or 
in river-boats, the Euphrates could be used as a channel between the 
Gulf and Babylon. (Euphrate navigari Babylonem e Persico man 
CCCCXII p. tradunt N«archus et Onesicritus. Plin., VI, 36 (30), 134). 


23 A.D.\ and the Shik-chi^ covering, in its geo- 
|;raphical portion, about the same period. It was 
during this period that Babylonia which, under 
Seleucid rule, had been a Syrian province, fell into 
the hands of Parthian rulers (about B.C. 140). 
This fact is apparently alluded to in the Ch^ien- 
han-shu. It continued to be a satrapy on tie 
western frontier of Parthia during the later Han 
d3masty (D 9 ; P 2). Since the time of Trajan, thel 
>Roman empire had repeatedly extended its frontiers 
to the banks of the Tigris, so that T*iao-chih (or, 
as it was apparently called during the period of the 

1 Ch'ien-haH'shu, ch. 96-^, Hsi-yCi-chuan 66-^, in the description of 
Wu-i-shan-li (»^ *^ ll] fH)* This country "is in the west, conter- 
minous with Li-kan and T'iao-chih [the two names perhaps denoting at 
that period the western and eastern parts of the Seleucid empire 
respectively, whence they are found together here and in other 
passages]. Going somewhat over a hundred days, you come to the 
country of T*iao-chih, bordering on the Weston Sea, hot and low, but 
growing rice in fields. There are large birds'-eggs, resembling jars 
(or urns). The country is densely populated ; it used to be governed 
by petty rulers, but An-hsi (Pailiiia), reducing them to vassalage, made 
it into an outer state [/.^., one of its foreign possessions]. They have 
clever jugglers. The elders of An-hsi [Parthia] have the tradition that 
in T'iao^chih there is the Jo-shui [weak water] and the Hsi-wang-mu 
[western king's mother], but they have not been seen. From T'iao- 
chih by water you may go west over a hundred days to come near the 
place where the sun sets, they say." Wylie (in "Notes on the Western 
Regions," Ix., p. 19) translates : "The people are very numerous, and 
are oft^i under petty chieftains, subject to the Parthians, who consider 
foreigners clever at juggl^y." The corresponding Chinese words are 

A»S$^&Wihl:ft«£.CSA^£(A^filli£> andshih. 

kasays «jftjm||$J|^Hib]W#H/' An-hsi considered T'iao- 
cfaih as an outer country, meaning as it were a foreign cx)untry." I 
think there can be little doubt that, in dividing the text into sen- 
tencef, I am right Jiicrft to ioUow the scholiast. Cf. Skih-chi, ch. 123. 


Three Kingdoms, Yfl-lo) may be found mentioned 
as a dependency of Ta-ts*in (the Roman Orient) 
^n the Wei'lio (P 41, 74). The tradition accord- 
ing to which T'iao-chih was, previous to its 
annexation, more powerful than An-hsi (Parthia) 
may refer to either the times of the Babylonian 
empire from Nebuchadnezzar down to the Persian 
conquest, or the period when it was joined with 
Syria to the Seleucid empire (second century B.C.) 
allusion to which seems to be contained in the 
joined expression "Li-kan T4ao-chih" {ue.y Syria 
and Babylonia) of the ChHen-han-shu or Shih-cht. 

Chaldaea was the only district of the Parthian 
empire which combined the two conditions, set forth 
in the Chinese records in connection with T4ao-chih, 
of being at the same time situated on the extreme 
west frontier of An-hsi (Parthia), and on the coast 
of the "western sea." It .is true that both the 
Caspian Sea and the Indian Ocean may be called 
western sea (Jisi-hat ® j^),^ but the Caspian 
cannot possibly be meant as that "western sea" 

* The passage D 3 sa3rs that the city of T'iao-chih lies on the 
"western sea/' which, in other passages is called "the great sea," 
(Ja-hai, ^ J|f, D 19; F 18). I have not the slightest doubt that in 
both cases the Indian Ocean with its gulfs, and not the Caspian, is 
meant. The latter is called Hsiao-hai (jl\\ J|f), "the small sea," in an 
unmistakable description of Taberistan found in the Hsin-fang'Shu 
{see Neumann, Asiatische Studien, p. 177 ; cf. Remusat Nouv. Milanges 
AsiaHqtuSy Vol. I, p. 254). On the other hand, the Indian Ocean is 
frequently called "western sea," eg,j in the Hou-Itan-shUf on the page 
following the description of Ta-ts'in (ch. ZZ), where the Hsi-hai 
(western sea) is said to be in the south-west of the countries of Yfleh- 

chib and Kao-fii (|£^ R% P»H£(B$£WJN^). 


on which T'iao-chih was situated: for, at Pan 
Ch'ao's time, the western boundary of Parthia 
extended far beyond the Caspian, and naviga- 
tion on that sea cannot possibly have extended 
to a distance of 40,000 or even 10,000 li 
(I 22\ or allowed of passages lasting two months 
(P 6), three months, or up to three years (D 20 ; 
F 18; P 6). The Mediterranean Sea is quite out 
of the question in A.D. 97. The only sea, there- 
fore, on which a trip of the described length could 
have been made from a port on the western 
boundary of Parthia, is the Persian Gulf. 

The description given of the city of T*iao- 
chih (D 1-5), which was situated on a s/tan (ll|, 
here, ** peninsula)," surrounded by water on three 
sides, so that access to it by land was only possible 
in the north-west, answers in every respect to the 
peninsula in the Chaldaean Lake. A glance at the 
sketch map representing that neighbourhood, which 
I copied from Kiepert's Nouvelle Carte Generale 
des Provinces Asiatiques de V Empire Ottoman 
(Berlin, 1884), embodying the results of the surveys 
made by Commr. Selby and Lieuts, Bewsher and 
CoUingwood, of the British Navy,^ shows that the 
peninsula in the Chaldaean Lake is, up to the 

^^— ^ ■ ^ ■ ■ I ■ ■ ^.^.^aa^m^^m^ —^ ■ ■ ■ — ^^^^ ■■ ■■■■■■■■ ■ ■-■ii — ■■—■ ^m^^— ■ • 

1 For further details see Kiepert, "Zur Karte der Ruinenfelder 
von Babylon," and the map, in Zeitschrift der Geselhchaft far Erdkundey 
Berlin, Vol. XVIII (1883), p. i. Cf. the map of Chaldaea, Susiana, etc., 
in W. Kennett Loftus' "Notes of a Journey from Baghdad to Busrah," 
in y, R, G, 5., Vol. XXVI, (1856), p. 131. A comparison of the two 
maps will show what progress has been made in the ancient topo- 
graphy of these parts within the past thirty years. 


|«*esent day, "crookedly surrounded by water;" 
that access to it is cut oflF by the lake, swamps or 
canals from all sides, except from the north-west, 
which is indeed the only quarter of the compass 
allowing of a land-road in the direction of Seleucia 
and Ktesiphon. This land-road leading out to the 
north-west exists at the present day. According 
to Kiepert it connects the present city of Nedjef, 
which stands quite close to the ruins of ancient 
Hira, with the present Bagdad vid Kerbela. 
Although I doubt whether ancient records throw 
much light on the former configuration of the Lake 
and its connection with either the Euphrates or 
the Persian Gulf direct, it may be assumed that it 
presented rather a larger, than a smaller, sheet of 
water in ancient times when compared with its 
present shape. ^ 

In selecting this peninsula of the Chaldaean 
Lake as the probable site of the city of T*iao-chih 
I am chiefly guided by the idea that it is apparently 
the only place in Chaldaea which answers the 
Chinese description, that as a terminus of naviga- 
tion in the Persian Gulf its port must have been a 
most convenient place for the embarkment of 
travellers coming from Central Asia vid Ktesiphon: 
for, the river passage from Hira to the coast of 
the Gulf is even at the present day about 600 
stadia shorter than the passage on the Tigris from 

1 "quoniam rigandi modus ibi manu temperatur/' Plin., Nat. 
HisLf XVIII 18 (47), 170. Cf. the descriptions of the lower course of 
the Euphrates in Plin., VI, 26 (30), 124 seqq.; and Pomponius Mela, 
III, 76 seqq. 

To face Page 148. 

BACDAob (/' 

Y Y ^ffiU 


'' f^ 1 \ '^^'iSi °f Babijlou 







— -^^ 






<M lf» ^Od «|0 

^s^ ^ 

i^M. " ^1 

SxBTOH uap ov tkb Otebland Bouts fbom Etesifhok to Hiba. 


Ktesiphon to the mouth of the river; and if, as 
Strabo seems to have assumed,^ the Euphrates had 
its separate outlet, or if, further, the Pallacopas 
canal furnished a short cut from the Lake direct 
into the Gulf, the advantage of taking passage in 
one of the Lake ports becomes still more obvious. 
For this reason, I consider it quite probable that 
the place where Kan-ying received his information 
regarding the terrors of a sea voyage (D 20 ; F 19), 
i.e.^ the city of T4ao-chih, stood somewhere in the 
neighbourhood of the present Nedjef Its name is 
not mentione.d in connection with Kan-ying's 
expedition ; but it is very probable that a populous 
city existed on the peninsula long before the founda- 
tion of Hira, the great trading town and chief city 
of the kingdom of that name, founded about 200 
A.D., t.e.y towards the close of the Han dynasty.^ 

1 "From the terms in which he [Strabo] speaks of the outflow of 
the two great rivers into the Persian Gulf, it is clear that each of them 
in his day had still its separate outlet to the sea, instead of uniting 
their streams into one as they do at the present day." Bunbury, 
History of Ancient Geography ^ Vol. II, p. 289. 

» This kingdom of Hira was founded by tribes of Arab origin who, 
on having wandered from their original seats in Arabia towards 
Bahrein, were opposed in their eastward progress by the Persian 
Gulf, and thus directed their migrations towards the north. "There, 
attracted by the rich and well-watered vicinity, the strangers took up 
their abode, and about A.D. 200 laid the foundations of the city. 
The Arsacide monarchy was then crumbling under revolt and dis- 
astrous war; and the young colony, swelled by needy adventurers 
and de^^ttate refugees from Arabia, grew unmolested into an impor- 
tant state. Another city not far distant from Hira, called Anb&r, was 
either founded, or having been previously in existence was taken 
posaeasion of, by the Arabs." "By some the establishment of this 
town has been referred back to the time of Nebuchadnezzar II, who is 


Hira, I assume, was known by name to the Chinese. 

said to have left here the captives carried off in his inroad into Arabia. 
But this is a mere hypothesis of the Arab historians, who are very 
expert in imagining such causes for the origin of towns and kingdoms, 
etc." "The question is not one of much importance. The main point 
is undoubted, viz., that the kingdom of Hira originated in an Arab 
colony." (William Muir, The Life of Mahomet, Vol. I, p. CLXVI ; of. 
de Guignes, Hist des^ Huns, Vol. I, p. 320). As I have already 
intimated, Hira was about two centuries later known as a shipping 
port for maritime trade. Yule (^Cathay, Vol. I, LXXVII), speaking of 
Arab trade to those parts, says : " The earliest date to which any 
positive statement of such intercourse appears to refer is the first half 
of the fifth century of our era. At this time, according to Hamza of 
Ispahan and Masudi, the Euphrates was navigable as high as Hira, a 
city lying south-west of ancient Babylon, near Ku-fa (now at a long 
distance from the actual channel of the river), and the ships of India 
and China were constantly to be seen moored before the houses of the 
town. Hira was then abounding in wealth, and the country round, 
now a howling wilderness, was full of that life and prosperity which 
water bestows in such a climate." Priaulx, " On the Indian Embassies 
to Rome, etc.," in y, R, G. 5., Vol. XIX, p. 295, speaking of the Indian 
trade of Palmyra, says: "Arab, and perhaps native, vessels brought 
the produce of India up the Persian Gulf to the mouth of the 
Euphrates; and, if they did not themselves ascend the river, at 
Teredon they discharged their cargoes intended for Vologesia, which 
was reached either by land on camels, or in vessels of lighter draught 
by the river." Vologesia, the chief trading town in the neighbour- 
hood of Babylon, must have been somewhere between the site of Hira 
and the Euphrates. This city flourished at Josephus' time and was 
founded by king Vologeses who reigned A.D. 51 to 91, but previous 
to A.D. 73, because Pliny mentions the name (VI 26 (30), 122 : nuper 
Velogeses rex aliud oppidum Velogesocertam in vicino condidit). As 
long as there is no positive evidence as to its site, we are free to 
assume that the facilities for trade causing the site of Hira to be a 
lucky one during the third century A.D., existed also during the first 
and second centuries, and that the city of Vologesia may have been 
similarly situated. Another city which may have stood on the 
peninsula is that of Alexandria, probably founded by Alexander the 
Great during his stay at Babylon Qsee Spruner-Menke, Atlas Antiquus, 
map No. VIII). 


The city and state of that name flourished early 
enough to find notice in the Hou-han-shu ; we, 
therefore, find the name mentioned as Yfi-lo^ in the 
itinerary describing the route from the capital of 
An-hsi (Parthia) west to the port of embarcation 
for Ta-ts4n (D 22). Yii-lo occupied apparently the 
the same or at least a similar site as **the city of 
T*iao-chih,'' Kan-ying's port ; it was on the extreme 
west frontier of An-hsi (Parthia) and, from there 
"you travel south by sea to Ta-ts4n/' As belong- 
ing to the country of T4ao-chih it was, of course, a 
Parthian possession during the Han dynasty; but 
as the city had been temporarily under Roman 
rule, Yii-lo is mentioned as a dependency of Ta- 
ts4n during the Wei dynasty (P 41, 74). The 
Roman boundary was then held to run between 
Yii-lo (Hira) and Ssu-lo (Seleucia); for "from Yii- 
lo north-east you cross a river [the Euphrates] to 
Ssu-lo ; and north-east of this you again cross a 
river [the Tigris] ; the country of Ssu-lo is subject 
to An-hsi [Parthia] and is on the boundary of Ta- 

Xyyu'lo, The sound of the first character appears to have 
corresponded to the present ft ho, as ancient ^ |Q yU-tien was 
changed into modern ft |Q ho-tien (Hoten, now usually spelt Khoten, 
the city in Central Asia), thus clearly suggesting that the pronuncia- 
tion of ^.yii in ancient times may have been similar to modem ft ho» 
The same city was called |BJ ^ huo-tien by the Hu ( j^) barbarians 
(='Ouigurs?), as I gather from a modern commentary of the Ch^ien- 
han-shu. Moreover, the Ch'eng-yun (JE ^), according to K'ang-hsi 
(s. V. ^) describes the sound of the character 3^ by f(c Jg ^, />., 
hii or hu. The old sound may be therefore set down as ho-lo, kU'-lo 
or ho-^at, «>., Hlra or Hlrat Q'Htrat al Nomdn, contracted by the 
Syrians, Greeks and Romans into Hirta" William Muir, /. r., 
p. CLXXI). 


ts^" (P 75-76). Finally, the distance from 
Ktesiphon, which name I consider to be the same 
as the Chinese Ssu-pin (D 22 ; P 69), to Yti-lo, 
viz., 960 li or stadia, as stated in the Hou-han-shu 
(D 22), if measured by the land-road vid the pre- 
sent Kerbela, corresponds as nearly with the actu^ 
length of that road as we may possibly expect in 
the most reliable classical author. 

These are the reasons which have induced me 
to give the preference to the Chaldaean peninsula, 
as the site of both the city of T'iao-chih and of 
Yu-lo, amongst all other localities which may seem 
to answer the Chinese description at first sight. 
However ingenious the suggestions hitherto made 
with regard to the identification of T4ao-chih may 
be, I have never seen the attempt made to tak€ 
more than a one-sided view of the question. I 
need not say that the method of investigating this 
subject should not consist in the consideration 
of one or two points in which the identity of 
the two countries seems to suggest itself; but that, 
apart from the principal features being traced in 
detail, the Chinese account contains no statement 
which may contradict the assumption arrived at. 
I shall not attempt to prove the reasons why the 
various suggestions made with regard to T'iao- 
chih^ should be rejected. If the identifications set 

II. ■ ■ ■ — - - , ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■■ ■ ■ I .■■■ ^ ■■■—■■ ■ 


1 Identified with Egypt by Visdelou ; with Persia by de Guignes 
who {Hist, des Huns,, Vol. II, p. 51) disposes of all difficulties by the 
few words: ^On dit que ce pays est voisin de lamer d'occident; 
c'est sans doute le Golphe Persique. On y trouve des grains en abon- 
dance et un oiseau dont les oeufs sont trte-|ros. Anciennement ces 

forth in these notes are wrong, the demonstration 
o£ logical errors committed by others could not 
possibly make them appear in a better light; if 
they are correct, it will not be necessary to collect 
evidence of a negative character to support them: 
for, aa Fichte^ justly remarks, '^ftir Entdeckung der 
Wahrheit ist die Bestreitung der entgegengesetzten 
Irrthflmer von keinem betr^chtlichen Gewinn." 
I propose, therefore, in the sequel not to take up 
the polemic point of view, but to leave it to the 
reader to form his opinion on the rival literature 
if he chooses to do so. 

The route from Hekatompylos to Kan-jdng's 
shipping-port may be clearly traced in the Jfou- 
kantsAu* That portion of it which led from 
Hekatompylos to the banks of the Tigris pro- 
bably partly coincided with the track of Alex- 
ander's campaign through Media (B.C. 330). 
**From An-hsi (^Hekatompylos),'^ the Annals say 
(D 22), "you go west 3,400 li to the country of 

peuples talent gouvern6s par leurs princes^ mais dans la suite les 
Gan-si6 les ont soumis et ont rdduit ce royaume en province; c'est ce 
que les Parthes ont hit de la Perse." De Guignes' opinion appears 
to have become that of most of the scholars in Europe ; but with 
the identification of Ta-ts'in with Italy, it was not compatible that 
T'iao-diih should be so for east as the Persian Gulf, which caused 
some to let Kan-ying arrive on the Mediterranean coast of Syria; 
'vi^ie others, misled by a misunderstanding as to the meaning of the 
term "Western Sea/' place the country near the coast of the Caspian 
(cf* Query and Replies: "Advance of a Chinese General to the 
Caspian/' in NoUs and Queries, Vol. II); von Richthofen suggests, not 
very oonfidmidy, though, the oasis of Khiva (China, Vol. I, p. 453) and 
Kingsmill (China JRetfiew, Vol. VIII, p. 164), Sarangia (Drangiana). 

^ Vorlesungen Ud. di BesHmmung des GekkrUn, V. 


A-man^ ; from A-man you go west 3,600 li to the 
country of Ssu-pin; from Ssu-pin you go south, 
crossing a river and again south-west to the coun- 
try oiF Yfi-lo, 960 li, the extreme west frontier of 
An-hsi (Parthia); from here you travel south by 
sea, and so reach Ta-ts4n." A-man, I presume, is 
the city of Acbatana (=Ass)n:ian Akmatan, the 
present Hamadan), the first centre of population 
on the road west of Hekatompylos, The distance 
could not have been stated more accurately in the 
Chinese record, and as the road leads through a 
plain, it may be expected to agree with reality. 
The track between the modern Damghan, the 
probable site of Hekatompylos, and the site of 
Acbatana, about which no doubt is entertained, 
measures just about 3,400 stadia. 

By continuing the high-road in a westerly 
direction we have to pass through a broad 
range of hills, running from the north-west to 
the south-east, thus oflFering considerable interrup- 
tions in the straight line of travelling ; the road 
probably meandered a good deal and went up 
and down hill every now and then, until it 
reached the plain, not too far away from the 
banks of the Tigris, We need not be astonished, 
therefore, to find a comparatively longer distance 
(36,000 li or stadia) assigned to the shorter route, 
viz., that from Acbatana to Ktesiphon ; for, with 

1 Old sound Uk-man^ if the YUn-hui'hsiaO'pu (^ ^ h\% f||)> 
quoted in K'ang-hsi s. v. |^, is right in giving this character the 
sound ^i in Cantonese iik. 


this name belonging to one of the Parthian 
capitals, I identify the Chinese Ssu-pin, which in 
modem Cantonese is pronounced Si-pan, and the 
old sound of which may have been similar to this. 
Si-pan or Ssu-pin, though not at first sight 
reminding one of the name Ktesiphon, will pass 
as a fair equivalent, if we allow for some muti- 
lation, as all those conversant with the Chinese 
way of imitating foreign sounds will readily admit. 
At Ktesiphon the Tigris had to be crossed, 
and then the road led south-west to Yfl-lo, at a 
distance of 960 stadia or li. I have shown 
my reasons for assuming the identity of Yii-lo 
and Hira on the peninsula in the Chaldaean 
lake {see above, p. 147 seqq.) One of these 
reasons was, that the journey by boat from 
Ktesiphon down the Tigris would have been longer 
than the route vzd Hira. However, it may be that 
at some time or other the largest of the canals 
connecting the Tigris with the Euphrates, the 
present Schatt-el-Amftra, was used as a conductor 
of traffic, whether in small boats, or as accom- 
panying a land-road (a feature frequently observed 
in modem China and probably quite as common 
in ancient western countries), thus oflFering a 
short cut to those who did not wish to visit Hira. 
The chief town near the present junction of this 
canal with the waters of the Euphrates, was 
the city of Uruku (Hebr. Erek, Greek 'Opx6% 
the present Warka ) * ; and this I venture to 

1 Cf. Kiepert, LehrB. d. alUn Geogr., p. Z44. 


propose may have been the second shipping* 
port of Parthia, whence travellers were in the 
habit of embarking for the journey to Ta-ts'im 
It seems to answer well enough to the Chinese 
An-ku (P 6, 13 and 60; cf. Q 74), the linguistic 
value of which name may be set down as 
Ar-ku {see note on p. 139). I must admit that 
the evidence in favour of this identification is 
not strong, as it mainly rests on linguistic 
grounds, a most deceitful class of argument> 
Mr. Kingsmill, to whom I mentioned the case, 
thinks of Charax Spasinu, and if we can agree 
about the identity the first syllable of Greek 
XAPAK ^ and Chinese an^ ngan ( ^ ), the 
suggestion deserves being further considered. 
The question still to be settled is this: which 
was the port from which, in order to reach 
Syria, one could either sail south (through the 
Persian Gulf and the Red Sea), or, proceed due 
west (by land, through the Syrian desert), or due 
north (through Mesopotamia to Antioch)? For 
such, I understand from the passage P 13, was 
the situation of An-ku. It should also be taken 
into consideration that An-ku is said to be a. 
Parthian city and must have been situated close 
to the Roman boundary, since one of the 
tributary states of Ta-ts*in (Ts6-san) is said to 
be in its neighbourhood (P 58-60). 

^ Xapa^ in Greek, and Karka in Syriac isee Eaeperti 1. c., p. 146) 
means ''town or city." If Chinese an becomes ar in Arsak, it is 
difficult to justify its becoming kar in iarka. 


Whatever the situation of T4ao-chih (Yti-lo 
and An-ku) may have been, so much is certain, 
that it contained a shipping-port, where a passage 
by sea, lasting between two (P 6) or three (D 20) 
months and two years (D 20), continued the 
overland route from China, vid the capital of 
An-hsi (Hekatompylos), A-man (Acbatana) and 
Ssu-pui (Ktesiphon), and led to a port, which 
was the port of Ta-ts'in. It seems to me that 
the description given of T*iao-chih in the Hon- 
kan-shu (D i to 9) does not contradict that 
supposition ^ ). 

Which, then, was the port of Ta-ts4n? The 

HoU'han-shu says (E 37) : "Coming from the 

■ I ■ I ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ I I ■.» 

1 It will be found in this description that the road of Kan-ying^s 
or somebody else's journey from T'iao-chih back to the capital of 
An-hsl (Parthia) is described again, as from the interpretation of the 
route stated in the account of An-hsi (D %%) we may expect it to be. 
"If you turn to the ncMth/' the Annals say (D 8), "and then towards 
the east agsun go on horseback some sixty days, yoii come to An-hsi 
(ParthiaV' By An-hsi we have to understand here, according to a 
usage often met with in these texts, the capital of the country, and 
not its boundary. From T'iao-chih, wherever it was situated on or 
near the mouth of the Euphrates, you go north to Ktesiphon, whence 
an oyerland route ("on horseback") takes the tra^t^ler east, vid 
Acbatana to Hekatompylos. I cannot help drawing attention here 
to the mistake into which Neumann fell when (Asiatische Studien, 
p. 1 57 J he translated this passage by: "Das Land hat einen Um&ng 
von uhgefiLhr 60 Tagereisen zu Pferde und ward sp&ter von den Asi 
Oder Assyriem abh&ngig.^. The length of the road performed on 
horseback (60 days) corresponds to the 7,000 (3400 -f- 3>6oo) li between 
Ssii-pin (Ktesiphon) and the capital of An-hsi (Parthia). If we assume 
these identifications to be correct, the average rate of travelling on 
horseback in these parts would have been about 117 li or stadia in a 
day. Cf. Ma Tuas-lin's T'iao-diih, in Rtousat's translation^ Nrntv^ 
MH. As., VoL I, p. 215. 


land-road of An-hsi (Parthia), you make a round at 
sea and, taking a northern turn, come out from 
the western part of the sea whence you proceed 
to Ta-ts*in." Starting at the head of the Persian 
Gulf, the passage here described takes us round 
the Arabian peninsula, and then northward into 
the Red Sea. The coast of this sea contained 
various outlets of oriental trade, all of which may 
perhaps claim to have been ports of Ta-ts*in. 
There was the route from Berenice, probably 
the southernmost, to Koptos on the banks of 
the Nile, and another, shorter route from Myos 
Hormos to the same river-port, goods being 
carried by camels over-land in caravans; at 
Koptos they were placed on board river-boats 
and carried down the Nile to Alexandria. ^ This 
was probably "the commercial route for a con- 
siderable part of the traffic between India and 
Rome. (The Chinese trade differed from the 
Indian trade mainly in that the bulk of its material 
consisted in silk textures which, before they were 
thrown on the Roman market, had to undergo 
the process of dyeing, chiefly purple dyeing, at 
Tyre or Sidon, or that of being woven (re-woven ?) 
at Berytus or Tyre.* The next route from the 

1 Plin., VI 23 (26), 102, seqq. Cf. O. de Beauvoir Priaulz, "On 
the Indian Embassies to Rome from the Reign of Claudius to the 
Death of Justinian " in Journ. R, Asiat. Soc,, Vol. XIX, p. 294. 

2 Priaulx, /. c. p. 296, quotes from Procopius, Hist. Areana, 25 c, 
p. 140 : i/Mirta ra ck furd^rjs ev Bripvn^ ftiv Kal Tvptf woX^ari rats 
cirl ^owUris €pyd(iecr$ai €k vakaiov ctcp^cv, etc., and from Vopiscus, 
Carinus XX, Hist. Aug, Scrip, "Quid lineas Aegypto petitas loquaur? 


Red Sea to the manufacturing towns of the 
Phoenician coast, however, did not lead through 
Egypt, but through the country of the Nabataeans/ 
The port of Ta-ts'in at which Chinese goods were 
chiefly landed must have been .at the head of the 
present Gulf of Akabah, the ancient Sinus Aelani- 
ticus. At the Ta-ts'in epoch (say B.C. 140 up to 
about the sixth century A.D.) the ancient Phoeni- 
cian glory had passed away, it is true; but the 
industries of the Phoenician cities and the com- 
mercial relations depending on them lasted for 
centuries after the beginning of our era. The 
natural advantages of a country like Syria must at 
any time have commanded a superior position in 
the oriental trade of Rome, a position which is 
quite compatible with its inferior position as a 
political power. The sea-port of Syria in the 
Red Sea was at the head of the eastern one of the 

Quid Tyro et Sidone tenuitate perlucidas micantes purpurd, plumandi 
difficultate pernobiles." Priaulx gathers from the difficultate plu- 
mandi that the stuffs from Tyre and Sidon were of silk. 

1 Strabo, XVI, p. 781 ed. Casaub. (Meineke), thinks of the distribu- 
tion of Indian and other oriental goods over the western part of the 
empire when he says : c'c ftJv odv rrjs A^vKtjs Ktofxqs cis IIcr/Dav, 
€vr€v$€v 8' CIS *TivoK6X.ovpa rrj^ vpos Atywrr^ ^oiviKtjs to. ^pria. 
KOfu((CTai fcdyrev^ev €is tovs clXXovs, wv\ 8c to irXkov cis t^v 
'AXc^v^tav r^ NciA^* Karaycrai 8' ck t^s 'Apafilas koi ttjs 
'Iv8cic^ €19 Mvos ofipov €T$' vrrkpd&ri^ eU Koirrov rrjs SrjfiatSos 
Kapajkois iv Suapvyi rov NciAov KiipJkvqv. [^^t ] ets 'AXc^avS/Kiav. 
The feet that the greater part of oriental (Indian) goods were 
discharged at Myos Hormos does not exclude the bulk of Chinese 
silks bdng taken to the dyeing and re-weaving cities in Phoenicia 



two gulfs forming tbe peninsula of Sinai, 
ports of this neighbourhood are mentioned as the 
channels of Phoenician trade in remote antiquity, 


the port of Elath, the Aila or Aelana of the Romans, 
near the present Akabah, and the port of 'Efedn- 
geber. It was from these ports that King Solomon 
sent his fleet to Ophir, and the first-named port, 
Aelana, was under the Romans an important 
military station; and a Christian bishop resided 
there during several centuries at the beginning of 
our era. 

Only about 60 miles north of this port was the 
city of Petra, so called by Greek conquerors who 
translated one of its Aramaean names, Sela, i.e.^ 
rock, into their language,^ from the Greek name 
of which the Romans called the country Arabia 
Petraea. The principal local name of the city, 
however, was not Petra, but Rekem or Rekam.* 
During the first two centuries A.D., Petra or 
Rekem was the seat of an immense commerce — • 
the great emporium of Indian [and, we may add, 
Chinese] commodities, where merchants from all 
parts of the world met for the purposes of traffic. 
The city fell under the Mahommedan empire, and 
from that time to the beginning of the present can- ■ 
tury was nearly lost from the memory of man. 

1 Cf. Kiepert, Lehrb. d. alten Geogr. Berlin, 1878, p. 184. 

3 According to Eusebius and Hieronymus ; Rokom, aceordiBg^to 
Epiphanius, and Arekeme or Arkem, according to Josephus (Antiqq. 
Jud. IV, 4, 7 and 7, i), quoted in Riehm^, Handwdrterb. d* 
Alt^ihumsy p. 1/2^4, Cf. Kiepert, /, c. 


When Burckhardt^ discovered its forgotten site in 
the year 1811, he found only a solitary column and 
one ruinous edifice left standing, of all the sumptuous 
structures that once crowded this romantic vale.^ 
"Under the auspices of Rome, Petra rose, along 
with her dependencies, to an incredible opulence. 
Unheeded in the desert, and for centuries for- 
gotten, the stately ruins of the hill-encircled city 
and its chiselled rocks still remain an evidence 
that may not be gainsayed of the mighty traffic 
once passing through the marts of Petra, of the 
princely magnificence of her merchants, of the 
truth of history, and of the unerring certainty 
of prophetic denunciation. Pliny and Strabo 
both describe the city in its unmistakable 
features. Athenodoras the Stoic visited it, and 
related with admiration to Strabo, his friend, the 
excellence of the government under a native 
prince, and the security with which Romans and 
other foreigners resided there. It need hardly 
be added that this prosperity was entirely de- 
pendent upon the caravan trade, which at this 
entrepdt changed carriage, and passed from the 
hands of the southern to those of the northern 
merchants, f To this cause Diodorus Siculus at- 
tributes the superiority of the Nabathaean'S over 
the other Bedouin tribes: — "Their commercial 

1 The celebrated Swiss traveller, author of Travels in Syria and 
the Holy Land, London 1822 ; Travels in Arabia ^ London 1829, etc. 

^ Olin, Travels in Egypt, Arabia Petraea and the Holy Land, Vol. II, 
p. 49. 


pursuits," he says, "are the chief cause of their 
greater prosperity. For many of the tribes follow 
the business of transporting to the Mediterranean, 
frankincense, myrrh, and other costly spices, 
which are transferred to them by the carriers 
from Arabia Felix?"*. Strabo also writes that 
the merchandise of the Arabian Gulf used to be 
transported from Leuke Kome on the Red Sea, 
to Petra ; thence to Rhinokolura fA/ AriskJ, 
a town upon the Mediterranean; and so to 
other ports.' And Pliny notices the double 
route which bifurcated at Petra." ^ The passage 
referred to (Pliny VI, 28 (32), 144) reads thusJ 
**huc convenit utrumque bivium, eorum qui 
Syria Palmyram petiere et eorum qui a Gaza 
venerunt," and Heeren* adds: "From the words 
of Pliny, one thing at least is certain, that at 
Petra the commercial road parted in two direc- 
tions, one leading to the left, towards Gaza and 
the shores of Syria ; the other to the right, towards 
Palmyra.'' vThe Palmyrian road supplied the 
east of Syria, where the city of Bostra, the 
capital of Arabia Petraea under the Romans, the 
present Bosrah, was known as another centre of 
orient^ trade. The road to Gaza connected 
the Gulf with the west of Syria, or, the Red Sea 
with the Mediterranean Sea. It looks almost 
as if the Wet-sku (I 5,) referred to these routes 

1 S^^ Forster's Arabia, Vol. I, p. 224. 

2 Strabo XVI, p. 781, {see note i on p. 159.) 

3 William Muir, Life of Mahomet, Vol. I, p. CXXXV seq. 
♦ Historical Researches, Vol. II, Appendix IX. 


in saying : ** By the side of its sea one comes 
out at what is like an arm of the sea; that the 
east and the west [of the country] look into that 
arm of the sea is a natural arrangement.'* The 
"east and west" maybe the "bivium" mentioned 
by Pliny, uniting at Petra or Aelana thus, as it 
were, *^ looking into" the Gulf. ^ The Wet-sku 
(I 7), is, further, right in saying that "the country 
lies between two seas," meaning the Red Sea on 
the one hand and the Mediterranean on the 
other; and the Tu-/iuan'/istng''C/itng''C/it\ quoted 
by Ma Tuan-lin (Q 50), is still clearer about the 
point in saying: "on the west, the country bounds 
on the western sea, on the south, on the southern 
sea,"* though the terms "western" and "southern" 
are in this instance to be understood from the 
Ta-ts*in or Syrian point of view. Apart from 
this, as I have shown, the term Hsi-hai, z.e.^ 
western sea, may be applied to the Indian Ocean 
with its dependencies (the Persian Gulf and the 
Red Sea) as well as to the Caspian. The term 
Hai-hsi, ^^., west of the sea or western arm of 
the sea, answers to the Red Sea, just as the term 
Hai-tung, /.^., east of the sea or eastern arm of 

1 The passage quoted from the Wei-shu may be interpreted in a 
two*fold manner. Either as above, in which case the Sinus Aelaniticus 
would correspond to the "arm of the sea" referred to; or, the. Arabian 
Gulf may be that "arm of the sea/* and "the east and the west of the 
country looking into it " may be its commercial outlets, viz., Aelana 
and Petra leading to Syria in the east, and Berenice, Leukos and Myos 
Hormos leading to Alexandria in the west. 

* The "Coral Sea" of the Nestorian Inscription (M i). 


the sea, answers to the Persian Gulf. Hat-hst- 
kuo is, therefore, the country of the Red Sea 
(cf. C 3, E I, P 7, et passim) ; and vessels sailing 
from T4ao-chih to Ta-ts4n have to cross the 
*^ western part of the sea" (=Hai-hsi, P 6). On 
the other hand, hai-tung-chu-kuo means "the 
countries on the eastern arm of the sea,'* **the 
countries on the Persian Gulf" (P 44, 69 ; Q 27). 
Hai'pei^ or **the country north of the sea," I am 
led to assume on the ground of passages E 40 
{hai-pei'Chii'kuo^ "the countries north of the sea," 
to which one crosses by the bridge north-west of 
Antioch, P 64, Q 75, i,e,^ the bridge across the 
Euphrates at Zeugma), P 13 and P 50, is either 
Mesopotamia or the north of Syria. 

. The length of the sea-route from T4ao-chih to 
Ta-ts4n, i.e,^ from a port on or near the mouth 
of the Euphrates (Babylon, Velogesia, Hira, 
Orchoe, Charax Spasinu?) to Aelana, the sea-port 
of Petra or Rekem, is described as measuring 
over 10,000 li (I 3, 22, Q 5, 64). In the text of the 
Wei-shu (I 22) this distance is given as "over 
40,000 li," and the Pei-shih^ a revised edition 
of the Wei-shu^ corrects this figure into 10,000. 
The larger amount (40,000) would very nearly 
correspond to the length of the passage in stadia ; 
but as the tradition of the text seems to be 
strongly in favour of 10,000 li, we have to interpret 
this expression as having a general sense like the 
latin sexcentt^ i.e.^ as meaning an indefinite large 
number. ! : The sailors on the Parthian frontier. 


I presume, were inspired by the spirit of the 
ancient Phoenician merchants in that they would 
not help anyone to collect information which 
might possibly create competition in trade and 
become ruinous to their own business ; ^ for, as 
they were probably the employes of Syrian ship- 
owners engaged in the carriage of Chinese goods 
from Parthia to Syria for the Roman market and 
vice versdj^ it would have been quite against 
their interest to let a political agent of the Chinese 
nation proceed to the west, as he might gossip 
about the real price of silk in China and learn 
the real price of glass nicknacks and jewelry in 
Syria, from which their employers made such 
an enormous profit [tenfold E 28, hundredfold \ 
F 16,*^ — ^we learn from these passages that a highly 
profitable sea trade existed between Ta-ts*in and , 
An-hsi (Parthia) and T4en-chu (India)]. It is 
probably for this reason that they told Kan Ying, 
who as a native of north-western China, and being 

1 A similar explanation of Kan Ying's failure in reaching Ta-ts'in 
is given by the author of the Hai-kuo-fu-chih, Ch. i8, p. 19. 

^ See £ 28. From this passage it certainly appears that the people 
of Ta-ts'in (Syria) traded by sea with India and China, and that the 
profit derived from this trade ^vas theirs ; as the Chin-^hu words it 
(F 16), the Parthians and Indians seem to have come to them; 
according to the Liang-shu (H i) the Indians carry on the trade with 
Parthia and Ta-ts'in. Whatever nationality the carrying vessels may 
have belonged to, it seems clear that it was in their interest to keep a 
Chinese explorer in the dark regarding the particulars of their trade. 

3 "Nee pigebit totum cursum ab Aegypto exponere nunc 
primum certa notitia patescente. digna res, nuUo anno minus HS 
I DL I imperii nostri exhauriente India et merces remittente 
quae apud nos centiplicaio veruatur Plin., VI, 33 (26), zoi» 



accustomed to travelling on land-roads hitherto, 
was just the greenhorn to be taken in by the 
cunning skippers, that "there was something about 
the sea which caused one to long for home ; that 
those who went out could not help being seized 
by melancholy feelings ; if the Chinese envoy 
did not care for his parents, his wife and children, 
he might go." The Chin annals, with a shade 
of humour, state that under the circumstances 
"Ying could not take his passage*' (F 19 W On 
that occasion they probably supplied him with 
what could be news to none but a Central- Asiatic 
hero, the information that "the water of the great 
sea which was crossed on the road to Ta-ts'in, 
was salt and bitter, and unfit for drinking pur- 
poses" (F 18); and also, "that, with favourable 
winds, the passage lasted two months;' that, with 
slow winds, it could last two years ; and that 
those who risked their lives in such an adventure, 
had to be supplied with three years' provisions " 
(D 20). I cannot suppress an after-thought that 
this last piece of information was given him in 
order to justify a big price as passage-money, 
which may have had as powerful an eiFect on Kan 
Ying's mind as the horrors of the sea described 
to him in such drastic language. 

The shortest duration of the sea journey from 
the mouth of the Euphrates, or Hira, to Aelana, 
according to the Wet'h'Oy was two months. If 

1 "Two months," according to the Wei-lio (P 6); "three months/ 
according to the passage quoted from the Hou-han-shu (D 20). 


we assume the sailing track from Hira to Aelana 
to have measured 3,600 nautical miles, the speed of 
navigation would have been during the third cen- 
tury A.D,, the period represented in the Wei'/ioj 
60 nautical miles per diem as an average; the 
passage of three months, as described in the Hou- 
han-shu during Kan Ying's time (A.D. 97), would 
give us an average of 40 miles ; and the two years, 
which the passage may have possibly lasted accord- 
ing to Kan Ying's informants, a much smaller figure. 
It would be a mistake to compare these averages 
with what we know about the speed of ancient 
navigation in the Mediterranean. Friedlaender, in 
a former edition of his celebrated work {Stttenge- 
schichte Rotn's^ Vol. II, ed. 1864, p. 15) computed 
the daily average for a favourable passage in the 
Mediterranean at 1,000 stadia, i>., about 80 nautical 
miles, and Peschel {Gesch. d. Erdk.^ ed. Ruge, 
1877, p. 20), in collecting accounts of quick sea 
passages made by ancient sailers, shows that the 
quickest passage on record was made at the rate of 
8 miles in an hour. In a later edition of his Vol. II, 
(third edition, 1874, P- 26 seqq.) Friedlaender 
struck averages from a considerably increased 
number of examples quoted from ancient authors, 
and arrived at a still higher average speed, viz., 100 
to 180 miles within 24 hours. It will be seen that 
even the quickest passages made according to Kan 
Yi'ng's informers are left behind considerably by 
these figures. Yet, I quite believe in the truthful- 
ness of the Chinese record ; for, in the first instance, 
navigation in these unknown waters could not fairly 


compete with the traffic say between Rome and 
Alexandria; the Persian Gulf, especially, must 
have been a dangerous sea to sailers, and the river 
or canal passage through Chaldaea probably took up 
more than ordinary time ; finally, we learn from the 
peripli of the Erythraean Sea, that numerous ports 
of call were entered by these ships, and it seems 
natural that the delay caused thereby should have 
been included in the total length of the trip by 
Kan Ying's informants, who, moreover, may be 
suspected to have rather exaggerated, than under- 
stated, the hardships of the joruney. The fleet of 
a hundred and twenty-five vessels which sailed 
from Myos Hormos to the coast of Malabar or 
Ceylon, annually, about the time of the summer 
solstice, traversed the ocean, with the periodical 
assistance of the monsoons, in about forty days/ 
The forty days' journey reckoned on this tpp 
represent, according to Pliny, ^ the distance between 
Ocelis in the Bab-el-Mandeb and Mu^iris on the 
coast of Malabar, t.e.^ a track measuring about 
2,000 miles. The average speed, then, must have 
been 50 miles a day in the Indian Ocean, and that 
is all we may desire to confirm the correctness of 
Kan Ying's report.* 

1 Gibbon, Vol. I, ch. 2; Priaulx, I.e., p. 294; cf. Plin., VI, 23 
(26), loi seqq. 

3 Indos autem petentibus utilissimum est ab Oceli egredi. inde 
vento hippalo navigant diebus XL ad primum emporium Indiae 
Muzirim. . . . Plin., VI, 23 (26), 104. 

9 It appears that the Wu-shih-wai-kuo-chuan ^ ^ ^ B flF 
(—Account of Foreign Countries at the time of Wu, A.D., 222 
to 277), quoted in the Yuan-chien-lei-han (ch. 386, p. 43), alludes 


f We may conclude from the hints contained in 
the earlier Chinese histories, that this route (Central 
Asia; Hekatompylos, Acbatana, Ktesiphon, Hira, 
mouth of the Euphrates, Persian Gulf, Indian 
Ocean, Red Sea, Aelana and Petra with its 
bifurcation to Gaza along the Phoenician coast 
and to Bostra, Damascus, etc.) was the prin- 
cipal channel of trade between China and Syria 
as the representative of the Far West from the 
beginning of commercial relations till up to the 
year A.D. i66y^ We are told in records as old as 
the Hou-han-shu and the Wei-lio (E i and P 5) 
that Ta-ts*in and Li-kan are one and the same coun- 
try, and it is clear that Li-kan is the older name 
of the two. It apparently first occurs in the 
Shih'Chi (ch. 123). When Chang Ch^ien had 
negotiated his treaties with the countries of the 
west, the king of An-hsi (Parthia) sent an embassy 

to the Chinese court and presented large birds'- 

eggs, probably ostrich eggs, and jugglers from 

to a trip similar to that from Muziris to Ocelis. It speaks of 
"ships provided with seven sails by which they sailed from 
Ka-na-tiao-chou ( ]JlI |^( ifl JH ), and with fevourable winds 
could enter Ta-ts'in within over a month" I presume that the 
city (country, province?) here mentioned was on, or near, the 
Indian West Coast. During the Wu period a traveller called 
K'an^ T'ai (]j| JH) was sent to Fu-nan (Siam and adjoining coun- 
tries?), who afterwards reported on his journey (cf. Ma Tuan-lin, 
ch. 331, p. 19). The Hai-kuo'i'u-chih (ch. 17, p. 7) quotes from his 
account of Fu-nan : " South-west from Ka-na-tiao-chou, entering the 
Great Gulf, you arrive at a distance of 700 or 800 li at the mouth of 
the gfeat river (3hih-hu-Ii ; crossing the river, you pass to the west, 
and at the extreme end of the journey, come to Ta-ts'in." 


Li-kan (A 1-5 and B i-*5)/ Various conjectures 
have been made on the sound of this word. 
"Regnum" and "heUenikon" (Edkins, y. N.-C 
Branch, R. A. S. Vol. XVIII, p. 3 ; cf. ib. p- 19), 
"legiones" (Tain tor in Notes and Queries on 
China and jfapan, Vol. II, p. 62), "Lycia'' 
(Pauthier, see Btetschneider in Notes and Queries, 
Vol. IV, p. 59); ^atrCKunfv ("the royal city"j Notes 
and Queries, Vol. IV, p. 8), and other etymo- 
logies have been thought of. With regard to 
these, as to all identifications of names, I wish to 
say that most of the writers on the subject 
seem to have been a little rash in declaring 
identity on the ground of mere similarity in 
sound. The name of a place ought to be the kst 
thing we should think of. If, after we have 
recognised a locality by its characteristic features, 
a reasonable etymology suggests itself for its name 
in Chinese^ the additional evidence it affords is 
certainly a welcome help ; but we should be care- 
ful not to jump at linguistic conclusions before 

1 This name is represented by different characters in the various 
records mentioning it. It appears as f||^ fj* li-hsien in the Skik^cki, 
Wet'shu and Pei-shih; as $|f H-kan in the Ch'ten-kan'Sku and 
WH-lto; as $ ]I|BI li-kien (Ji-kin) in the Hau-han-shu and Ckin*sku, 
Ma Tuan-lin, who( Q i) adopts the Ch^ien-han-shu style of writing the 

name, describes the sound by ^ "^ (Jtii ^n& yen,sske?i), and in an- 
other passage (the account of Wu-i-shan-li, ch. 33^, p. 25) by J£ jj 
{kii and lietiyzskien, old sound : kin). The first syllable of ReJum 
could have only been represented by // in Chinese; the substitution, in 
the Chinese sound, of a final n for /», must be explained by the fact 
that the Chinese, who first wrote the name down, did not hear it on 
the spot, but probably through the medium of an informant speaking 
a dialect of the Aramaean language differing from that spoken at Petnu 


haying examined the facts underlying them. We 
have seen that with some probability the oldest 
trade route to Ta-ts*in touched the territory of this 
country at Aelana, the port of the great oriental 
emporium Petra or Rekem. ReketHy we may 
a^ume, was the city which being connected by 
direct navigation with the shipping-port in T'iao- 
chih { Vologesia, Hira, Orchoe ?) must have become 
first known to Chinese travellers (such as Chang 
Ch'ien, or Pan Ch'ao and Kan Ying) through 
Parthian informers as the market for Chinese silk. 
A Chinese supercargo asking the question at Hira : 
'* where do you ship our silk for?" would have 
received the reply: **to Rekem." Rekem was the 
landing d6p6t for the oriental goods destined 
for the Phoenician manufacturing towns, just as 
Berenice and Myos Hormos, or Koptos, may be 
regarded as receiving-stations for the Alexandrian 
market ; it was the next station after T'iao-chih, 
and, from an oriental point of view, was the 
en^woeiof Ta-ts -in or Syria. At this stage I may 
be justified in offering the conjecture of Rekem 
being identical with Li-kan of the Shih-chi and the 
Ck^ien-han-shuy which is plausible enough from a 
linguistic point of view as all those acquainted 
witib the Chinese transliteration of foreign names 
will ^mit, and which is, moreover, based on 
suppositions suggested by facts, 
f During the period when the name Li-kan was in 
use for the westernmost country to which Chinese 
commercial relations extended, i.e.^ the time follow- 
ing Clwmg Ch'ien's expedition or about 1 20 B.C., 


the Nabathaean kingdom of which Petra or Rekem 
was the capital, commanded a powerful position in 
western Asia. Mommsen {Rom. Gesch., 7th Ed., 
Vol. Ill, p. 138), referring to the time of Pompeius, 
even speaks of the Nabathaeans as "the real lords 
in the empire of the Seleucid^e, together with 
the Jews and the Bedouins."/ Chinese records 
of the ante-Christian period repeatedly mention 
the two countries T4ao-chih and Li-kan together, 
so that, for a long time, they were believed to 
be neighbouring countries. We have seen that 
T*iao-chih probably occupied the territory of 
ancient Babylon, the country about the Chaldaean 
Lake, which, as the terminus of sea navigation, 
was considered part of the western sea. (NoW, 
there is nothing more natural than that inti- 
mate relations, political and commercial, existed 
between the Chaldaeans and the Nabathaeans, or 
in other words, between T*iao-chih and Li-kan. 
For, although these two nations were separated 
from each other on the one hand by the Syrian 
desert, on the other hand by the Indian Ocean 
with its two gulfs, close relationiship exiisted 
between them. Mommsen (/.c. Vol. Ill, p. 141), 
says with regard to the Nabathaeans: "This 
remarkable nation has been frequently confound- 
ed with their eastern neighbours, the vagrant 
Arabs; but they are nearer related to the 
Aramaean branch than to the Ismaglites propen 
This Aramaean — or as occidental nations call it, 
Syrian — tribe must, at a very early period, have 
sent out a colony from its oldest residence about 


Babylon to the northern coast of the Arabic Gulf, 
probably for trading purposes : these are the 
Nabathaeans on the peninsula of Sinai between 
the Gulf of Suez and Aila, and in the neigh- 
bourhood of Petra (Wadi-Musa). It was in 
their ports that goods coming from the Medi- 
terranean were exchanged for Indian pro- 
duce ; the great southern caravan-road running 
from Gaza to the mouth of the Euphrates 
and the Persian Gulf, led through Petra, the 
Nabathaean capital, where the palaces and tombs 
cut in rocks, having retained their magnificence 
up to the present day, are better witnesses of 
Nabathaean civilisation than the almost forgotten 
historical tradition."; 

(^The sea route from the Persian Gulf to 
Rekem, it appears from what we may gather, 
was the principal channel for the silk trade 
up to the time of the Parthian war conducted 
under Marcus Aurelius Antoninus by Avidius 
Cassius during the years A.D. i6^ to 165 ; whereas 
the bulk of oriental articles which had nothing 
to do with further treatment (dyeing, embroi- 
dering, re-weaving) in Phoenicia, probably went 
to Alexandria, for distribution over the Roman 
Empire. It is probably not an accidental coin- 
cidence that just at the conclusion of this war 
which terminated with the capture of Seleucia 
and Ktesiphon by the Romans in A.D. 165, a 
mission went forward from Ta-ts'in by sea to 
the Far East which arrived at the court of 


China in October A.D. 166/ Up to this time 
the Parthians had monopolised the trade be- 
tween China and Ta-ts*in as we learn from the 
Hou-han-shu (E 32), the Wei-lio (P 24), and 
other records. It may be surmised there- 
from that, at a time when battles were fought 
on the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris, 
when two of the cities which lay on the road from 
Central Asia to the shipping-port on or near the 
coast of the Persian Gulf, the cities of Ktesiphon 
and Seleucia, were captured or destroyed with 
their magazines, a commercial crisis may have 
created much anxiety amongst the Syrian mer- 
chants at Antioch, Tyre, Sidon or Petra; their 
connection with the Chinese market through their 
Parthian friends — for friends they had been in 
trade, if not in politics — had been cut off by the 
armies of their own, the Roman, government ; the 
bales of silk piece-goods they were accustomed 
to expect did not arrive, nor did their own dyed 
and mustered piece-goods, their glass nicknacks, 
their real and imitation precious stones, reach their 

1 See Hou-han-shu, Oh. 7, p. 4. Ma Tuan-lin (Q 56) places this 
mission at the beginning of the YQan-chia period of Huao-ti, i>., 
A.D. 151, and the Chu-fan-chih (R 21), at the heginmng of the 
Yen-hsi period, U., A.D. 158; but this is clearly an ^iversighti 9& the 
year A.D. 166 is supported by two passages in the BoU'Ilum-sku (the 
passage above quoted and £ 33), and the authority of the JUang-sku 
(H 5). I may add that the year A.D. 166 is mentioned in the San- 
shu edition of A.D. 1243, printed about half a century previous to 
the time when Ma Tuan-lin wrote {su &csimile co|^ of the Ta-ts'in 
account of the Hau-haH-shu,) 


destination in China. ^ What was, under the cir- 
cumstances, more natural than that a mercantile 
mission should be sent through the Indian Ocean 
and the China Sea to open up direct communi- 
cation with the Chinese themselves? It is true, 
the Chinese records speak of the king of Ta-ts*in, 
An-tun, as the sender of the embassy, and as, at 
the time, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was eiflperor 
at Rome, it is quite in order to identify his name 
with the An-tun of the embassy. However, if we 
examine the two-fold point of view, that of the 
emperor at Rome and that of the silk merchants 
in Sjrria, vts-it-vis the Chinese nation, if we apply 
the cut bono question to the sending of a mission 
to a distant continent which could be in none 
but commercial connection with the western 
world : have we really reason to assume that, at a 
time when the frontier provinces had to be kept 

1 The difficulty created through the Parthian war must have been 
aggravated by the &ct that a plague, the most terrible one on record 
during antiquity, had broken out in Babylonia, which the Roman 
army, returning from the seat of war, carried all over the empire 
("ab ipsifi Persarum finibus adusque Rhenum et Grallias cuncta 
contagiis poUuebat et mortibus." Ammian. XXIII, 6, 24). Medical 
authorities (Krause, UeBer das Alter der Mensckenpochen" and A. Hirsch, 
Handb, dergeogr. PatMogie, quoted by Friedlaender, SiiUngesc/t., Vol. I, 
ed. 1873, p. 36) declare the epidemic to have been small-pox. The Han 
annals (ffou'kan-shu, ch. 7, p. 3) contain the record of a pestilence (chi- 
3ri fjl^ K) ^^^ ^^ ^ famine, the latter having caused 40 to 50 per cent. 
of the population to die from starvation in Ytl*chou (j|l jNl); ^^^ 
jH'esent Ho-nan province. Unfortunately, the Chinese term used for 
this, as for other epidemics, recorded in ancient times, is somewhat 
vague and contains no clue whether small-pox, or cholera, or the real 
plague, is meant. 


at peace with great effort, the Roman government 
should have thought of seeking the firiendship of 
the Emperor of China for political reasons? Is 
not the commercial interest, the **ten" and *' hun- 
dred-fold profit " which the Syrian merchants had 
lost since the termination of the Parthian war, 
a much more powerful inducement to look out 
for new connections? I am for this and other 
reasons inclined to believe that the mission of 
A.D. 166 was not an embassy, but a private 
expedition.^ Merchants who were accustomed 
to trade to India and Ceylon, took passage further 
on to Annam. They had probably originally 
neither credentials nor presents nor tribute for the 
Chinese emperor; any piece of papyrus covered 
with Greek or Latin writing would do for the 
former, and the tribute — as we conclude from the 
nature of the goods presented — ^was bought up in 
Annam, where they perhaps made up their minds 
to play the part of imperial messengers, in order 
to obtain the trading privileges sought for. Their 
tribute, we are told (E 33), consisted of ivory, 
rhinoceros' horns and tortoise-shell, — ^Annamese 
articles, as even the author of the Hou-kan-sku 
must have suspected, who says "their tribute 
contained no jewels whatever, which fact 
throws doubt on the tradition.^'* As true mer- 

1 Cf. Klaproth, Tabl, hist, de VAsie, p. 69, also Letrojine^ in Mim. 
des inscr, et belles lettres, Nouv. Serie, T. X, p. 227, quoted in Fried- 
laender, Sittengesch, RoniSy Vol. II (ed. 1874), p. 63. 

3 or ''which makes us suspect that the messengers were at fault." 
Cf. Q 36 and R 21. 


chants, it appears, the pseudo-ambassadors had 
disposed of their Ta-ts'in jewels* wherever the 
best prices were ofifered, and bought the presents 
for the emperor of China from part of the proceeds 
on the spot, in Annam. It is very likely that 
part of what we read in the Hou-han-shu^ 
especially the remarks concerning commercial 
tra£Bic with China, was taken from the record 
written in the daily chronicles when the Ta-ts'in 
ambassadors were examined by means of inters 
preters. I am incUned to believe that they 
brought Roman coins to China, which being 
explained by them, induced the chronicler to make 
his remark about the Ta-ts'in gold and silver coins, 
the relation between which is that of ten to one 
(E 27). They probably alluded to the subject 
of their mission by saying: "we have had trade 
with An-hsi (Parthia) and T*ien-chu (India), from 
which we have had tenfold profit; we are honest 
and have no double prices, etc." Perhaps they 
even mentioned that "in Ta-ts*in foreign am- 
bassadors are driven by post from the frontier to 
the capital and were presented with golden money 
on arrival," in order to show what the Chinese 
might have done to honour them. They probably 
further stated that " their kings always desired to 
send mbsions to China {i.e.^ to carry on direct 
trade), but that the Parthians, who would not lose 
the profit they made out of the silk trade, would 

* — — ■ I ■ I I I !■ ^m 

^ Bia Tuan-lin's version (Q 36) and the Chu-fan-chih (R 21) 
clearly hint at the possibility of their haying suppressed the jewels and 
curiosities which the Chinese expected from a country like Ta-ts'in. 


not allow them to pass through theu: country, until 
now they had come by sea direct to trade with 
China" (E 28 to 33). All this reads much more 
like the arguing of commercial pioneers, tra- 
velling on behalf of a wealthy guild in Antioch or 
Alexandria, than the letter of credence issued by 
a monarch like Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, who— • 
from what we may conclude from the various 
passages occurring in classical authors with regard 
(po the Seres — cared about as little for his col- 
league in Chang-an-fu as the latter cared for 
him. After the difficulties experienced in his 
wars with the Parthians, the Roman Caesar 
could not dream of ever penetrating to such a 
distance with his legions, nor would it have 
served Roman interests to seek an' alliance with 
China against Parthia, as the Chinese under 
Huan-ti were scarcely able to keep their western 
frontier in order, not to speak of the Hsiung-nu 
nation, their great and powerful enemy. 
^ The Han Annals do not say whether the direct 
sea-route was after that used as the main channel 
for trade; but we may read between the lines 
that it was so ; for " from that time," they say, 
"dates the direct intercourse with this country" 
(E 33). Goods, I presume, then went by junk 
from Annam to Ceylon, the ancient Taprobane, 
or the coast of Malabar, whence they were 
transhipped to the Red Sea/ 

1 For an abstract from the principal western sources on the 
ancient trade with China see Reinaud, Relations PolitiqueSf etc,, de 
r Empire Rotnain avec FAsie OrientaUf p. 184 seqq., and the several 
accounts in Yule's Cathay and the Way Thither » 


During the two Wei dynasties, i.e.j about 
between the 3rd and 6th centuries A.D., another 
route was largely used, especially for the 
importation of goods from Ta-ts'in. It is stated 
in the Wei-sAu that "there is also connection 
by water with the principalities of Yi-chou and 
Yung-ch'ang" (I 19; cf. Q 62), and in the Wci-lto 
(P 50), that "after the road from Ta-ts*in had been 
performed from the north of the sea by land, 
another road was tried which followed the sea 
to the south and connected with the north of 
the outer barbarians at the seven principalities of 
Chiao-chih (=Cochin China);" and that "there 
was also a water-road leading through to Yi-chou 
and Yung-ch'ang," — ^both these districts being in 
the present Yiinnan. " It is for this reason," the 
Wei^lio adds, "that the curiosities [of Ta-ts*in] 
come from Yung-ch'ang." The route here de- 
scribed takes us to a sea-port on the coast of 
Pegu whence one of the two rivers, the Sal wen ^y 
or the Irawaddy , oflfered a channel for trafl&c with 
the confines of Yiinnan. Perhaps the south- 
eastern route along the bed of the latter river, 
the Ta-ho, which has during the last twenty years 
become known as the scene of distinguished 
travelling, saw lively traflSc in those days, as 
it must have connected a considerable portion 
of the interior of China with the ports on the 
Gulf of Bengal. According to the Hou-han-shu 
(C 2 to 4), natives of Ta-ts*in, musicians and 
jugglers, found their way to the court of a king 
of Shan, whose possessions must have been near 


the borders of the Yung-ch'ang principality (the 
Vochang of Marco Polo). This king, who had 
previously (A.D. 98; ^^^ C i) been endowed by 
the Chinese emperor with a golden seal and a 
purple ribbon, the emblems of a tributary prince, 
presented his liege-lord with a number of Syrian 
artists who somehow or other had got into his 
power. On New Year's Day A.D. 121 they gave 
a performance in the presence of the youthful 
emperor An-ti.* 

The journey across Parthia and the sea has 
probably never been completely performed by a 
Chinese traveller ; but the Chinese must have been 
aware that their goods were forwarded in this 
direction, for so, it seems, we have to explain the 
words of the Sung-shu^ which says (G i): "although 
the envoys of the two Han dynasties have expe- 
rienced the special difficulties of this road, yet 
traffic in merchandise has been effected, and goods 
have been sent out to the foreign tribes, the force 
of the winds driving them far way across the wav^s 
of the sea." 

(During the Wei period, ix.^ during the third 
century A.D., we may conclude from remarks 
occurring in the Wei-lio^ the trade to ports 
on the Egyptian coast was known to Chinese 
authors. The Ta-ts*in of this period must be 
assumed to comprise Egjrpt, for so I understand 
the following passage in the Wei4io (P 7): "This 

1 The passage (C 4), literally . translated, means; "At the new 
year's meeting iyHan-kut) of the following year, An-ti made music 
(Jso^o: gave a musical entertainment ?) at court." 

rorarriKiCATiQNs. i8i 

country is on the west of the sea, whence it is com* 
monfy called Hai-hsi. There is a river coming 
ont from the west of this country, and there is 
another great sea." The ''west of the sea" I have 
pointed ont is the Red Sea ; the river referred to 
in this passage I believe is the Nile, and the other 
great sea is the Mediterranean. The Weulto con* 
tinnes (P 9): ''In the west of that sea there is the 
city of Ch'ih-san." The old sound of these two 
syllables may be assumed to have been Disan,^ 
which I venture to explain as a Chinese corruption 
for the name of the great city of Alexandria on the 
mouth of one of the Nile branches. The Weulio 
farther says (P 10): "From below the country 
one goes straight north to the city of Wu-tan.'* 
The phrase "from below the country" may mean 
"before one arrives in the country," and the Chinese 
author may write from the standpoint of a traveller 
entering the Red Sea. He would have to sail in 
a northerly direction in order to reach the port of 
Myos Hormos, which may have been called Wu- 
tan* locally. South-west of it the commercial route 

1 Ch^h (JB) stands for Sanscrit di in Koundikft. Julien, Mithodi 
ptmr dick^ffirer, etc, IV, No. 1876. 

s Old sound : Odan, Otan, Utan, Odam, etc. (J) See Julien, /. €,, 
Nos. 13x3-13x5 and 1700-1701. From a llnguistical point of view, 
there could be no closer relationship between the sound of this name 
and ancient Adana, the modem Aden, the existence of which name 
during antiquity has been testified by Philostorgios (died A.D. 430), 
Hist, Ecc, ni, 5 p. 478, quoted bjr Mailer ad Anon. Peripl. Maris 
Erythn, § 26, in Geogr, Graee. Min., Vol. I, p. 376; but unless we 
assume the text to have been corrupted, it will be impossible to 
unite the seoie as it appears to me at present with the situation of 
the city of Aden. Regarding the probable site of Myos Hormoe ue 


joined the river Nile near the city of ■ Koptos/ and 
the- remark made by the Chinese author, that it 
took a day to cross the river in the south-^west, 
(P II) may be a hyperbolic allusion to its size. 
The next paragraph in the text (P 12), which in 
this portion (P 8 to 14) seems to describe the 
route to Syria (Antioch, Tyre or one of the other 
Phoenician cities) by way of Egypt (Myos Hormos, 
Koptos, Alexandria), says that the country contains 
three great divisions, and thereby may allude to 
the division of Egypt, the country of the city of 
Ch4h-san, into three sections (Delta, Heptanomis, 
Thebais).) The WH4io further says (P 14): "At 
the city of Wu-ch*ih-san you travel by river on 
board ship one day, then make a round at sea, and 
after six days' passage on the great sea arrive in 
this country." As I now understand this passage, 
it describes the journey from Alexandria to Antioch, 
the capital of Ta-ts*in. The old sound of the 
characters representing the name Wu-ch'ih-san may 
be described as Odisan, the Wu or O being the oiily 
additional part in the name otherwise identical 
with Ch'ih-san above mentioned. I consider this a 
very descriptive rendering of the sound ''Alex^ 
andria." The distance from this city to Antioch, 
which place could be reached by sea, as the Orontes 
is stated to have been navigable in ancient times as 
far as Antioch, is about 400 nautical miles. This 
track sailed through at the rate of 70 miles a day, 

MaU*r, ad Agatharchid. De Man Erythartieo, /.<:., Vol. I, p. 167 


W011M have occupied about 6 days/ The one 
day's river passage preceding the six .da3rs on sea 
may be explained by the preference being given as an 
outlet from the river to the Ostium Heracleoticum 
at thertown or suburb Canobus which, being connect- 
ed by a navigable canal with the small iimer harbour 
Kibotus, was about 15 miles distant from that point, 
thus causing a day to elapse between the lifting of 
anchors and the putting to sea.^ / 1 am inclined to 
believe that goods coming from China or India by 
the Nile route, and destined for Antioch or any 
other Syrian port, did not enter any of the sea har- 
bours of Alexandria at all, but were transhipped 
previous to passing the Customs station (reXmiov) 
which, according to Strabo, guarded the inward and 
outward river traffic, so that a traveller might well 
6nj<^ himself either in the city or in its eastern 
suburbs, without having to embaric on the Medi- 
terranean side of the city for the continuance of his 
journey, y 

(The reader who has followed me so far in tracing 
the various routes by which a traveller may have 
reached Syria from China, may now fairly ask : 

1 To quote a practical example : the passage from Tyre to Antioch, 
which represents just about half the distance from Alexandria to 
Antioch, occupied Ihree days, ffist. ApoUan, Regis Tyri, ed. Riese, 
VII, p. S: Thaliarchus (starting from Tyre) "tertia navigationis die 
attigit Antiochiam." 

» CL Strabo XVII, p. 800. 

^ According to Pliny the terminus of navigation for the oriental 
traffic vi& Koptos was not at the city of Alexandria itself, but at a 
(river?) port called Juliopolis, 2,000 paces distant from Alexandria. 
Plin., VI, 93 (36), 103. 


what has become of the overland routes from 
Babylonia to the west? We know from western 
authors that connection existed by caravan routes 
between the mouth of the Euphrates and Petra; 
there must have, further, been a road through 
the desert from some station in the neighbourhood 
of Babylon to Emesa or Damask vtd Palmyra; 
and, finally, the highway to western Asia, the old 
Via regia, and the route from Seleucia to 
Antioch through Mesopotamia vid the bridge 
at Zeugma. It would, indeed, be strange if the 
existence of these routes, the beaten tracks of 
oriental traffic, had escaped the notice of the 
informants to whose accounts the compiler of 
the HoU'han-shu was indebted for the details 
of his Ta-ts*in chapter, I believe that the end 
of the account referred to (E 38 to 40) may be 
fairly interpreted as describing an overland route 
on Ta-ts'in territory, and since it contains certain 
allusions which may be traced to the Mesopotamian 
road from Seleucia to Antioch, it may be surmised 
that this road was not unknown to the Chinese of the 
later Han period. I am somewhat doubtful as to the 
interpretation of the passage E 37, which I have trans- 
lated as follows : " It is further said that, coming from 
the land-road of An-hsi [Parthia], you make a round 
at sea and, taking a northern turn, come out from 
the western part of the sea, whence you proceed to 
Ta-ts*in." jThis passage, one of the most ambiguous 
in the Hou-han-shu account, has been interpreted 
by Bretschneider {Chinese Recorder y Vol. Ill, 
p. 30) as meaning : " From An-hsi, Ta-ts4n- is 


reached by land, by travelling round the northern 
shore of the sea/* " Here/* he continues to say, 
'' we have referred to, either the going round the 
Mediterranean through Asia Minor, or round the 
Black Sea through the Caucasus." Mr. E. H. 
Parker, {t'btd.^ Vol. XVI, p. 14) though not sharing 
the last-named author's view of the identity of 
Ta-ts*in with Italy, joins him in rendering the 
term jao-hai (i^ •^), which I have translated by 
"making a round at sea," by **to surround" as a 
transitive term. His interpretation of the passage 
is, "that, if you prefer the land-road, you must 
coast the Caspian Sea north of the Elburz 
mountains, and go northwards in the direction of 
Antioch in north S)aia, through South-Armenia, 
leaving as you go the Mesopotamian region 
altogether." The reason why I cannot agree to 
this view is that, whatever jao (5^) may mean in 
other phrases, such as jao-shatiy "to surround 
a hill," ox JaQrch^ing^ "to surround a city," said 
of a river, the two characters jao-hai do not 
mean, "to surround the sea on land," but "to 
turn round oneself on the sea;" or, as a native 
scholar consulted on the subject expressed it, 
one cannot jao-hai except on board ship. I 
may suppdrt this view by the passage P 14, where' 
the same term occurs in a context entirely ex- 
cluding the idea of a terra firma journey, ^ao^ 

like the cognate terms chou (^) and hui (M)? 
may be used both in the transitive and the in- 
transitive sense. In the last sense it means, " to 


^Wrttf e ^ curved route, to meander about." The 
literal rendering of the passage, as I originally 
'tranislated it, would he: ts^ung- {^) coming ^oin 
ikn^hh'/UJtao i^MMM) iht land-road of ^An-hsi, 
jdo'Xai (1|S 1^) yoii make a round at sea and JM- 
hsing (^fc fr) gomg norths ch^u-hauhsi {^ ]^i9) 
come out from the west of the sea." 

However, the Chinese language can be veiy 
ambiguous, and I shall show 'directly that ianodier 
sehse is yet possible apart from Mr. Pkrker^s, who 
fe perhaps right in suggesting that, the sea-route 
iBrbin'the Persian Gulf to Adana being suflSciently 
wellauthenticated by other passages \see D 20, 52 ; 
IF 18, 19; I 3, i22 ; P5; Q 5, 64], there is iio 
necessity for seeking to strengthen it by Ybrcing 
on to a strong chain weak links fairly beloiigiilg 
to quite another chain. This other chain of liiiks 
may1)e found in the following passages (E 38 ^to 
40); but, instead of adopting Mr. Parker's versicfti, 
I would attempt to interpret the doubtftll ps^age 
as follows: "coming from the land-road of An4xsi 

[Parthia] yoti /ao (J^) pursue a curved route, 

meander through, or to, kai-pei (•^:fB) [the district 
so called= Mesopotamia, or the north of Syria pro- 
per, c/l E 40 ; P 13, 50] and hsing-Mu (^ffl) going, 
come out at kai-hst (|^ ®) Hai-hsi, i.e., Ta-ts*in." * 

^ This passage has been contracted in the Wei-Iio (P 39) into: 
tsfMf^ An-hsijao hai-^ei too chH kuo, ** from An-hsi ^Parthia] you bead 
through Hai-pei [and so] arrive in this country." The ambiguousiiitts 
is not removed, though, as we are equally free to translate (as I haye 
done on p. 70): "coming from An-hsi [Parthia] you make a round at 
sea and, in the north, come to this country." 


This overland-route through the district called 
*'Hai-pei". is alluded to in the Wet-lio (P 13 
and P 50); and the fdllowing passages piay in 
^yerjT; respect be understood to apply to tra- 
velling in Mesopotamia. This part of Asia was 
indefd densely populated, and yet most li^elyy 
to be infested with .lions; for, Stra,bo (Xyi| 
\h. 747} P^^^^ ^P Mesopotamia!! landscape not 
ofljy. ei/^oTipf, *'rich in pasture-ground," but a|^o 
T^tnro^Toq^ '^full of lions"; an4i u^, the p^sage 
^ 4C^ menti^on is made of a i^ost characteri/stif^ 
festive, pf this road) the flying bridgie, by vjrhi^ 
c^n^ crosses to " the countries north pf 1[he ifeaj'* 
i.ey^ Hai'pei-chU'kuo. T^is bridge, a& I coi^d^i^ 
from the fact of its b^ng sitju^atipd \^thin %ooo H 
ojr sta4ia north-east of the capital <^ Ta-ts'in (P 6^^;^ 
Q wi can b^ 119 9ther ^han th^ brii^ge a^pps ^^ 
Euphrates at the city gf Zeugm^ wbj^qh was ^ tbg 
pprthp^agt of Ap,tloch. z?x\ accp^f^mg tO| Strs^bo 
(XVi, p. 749J, 1,490. st?,di3 ^ym^i ft^qa tl»^ 
%^ 9( Isejus^ 

(^Overland routes can be clearly^ traced in the / 
Wti'lio. From the city of An-ku (Orcho3?), it 
is stated (P 13), you can proceed to Ta-ts*in in 
three different directions of the compass, fhe 
northern route is apparent^ the road tbrougb 
M^Ppptamia; th^ western on^^ s^ carayai^-rpad 
trough the Syriap desert, possibly tiie i^pa4 viAf 
Pa^y^; whereas, "you go 4ue sputh" by sea, 
!>., thi'pygh the Pp^siap Gulf, just as piie travel^ 
south by sea from Yfl-lo (Hira; D 22). Another 


allusion to the northern or Mesopotamian road 
must be contained in the passages P 50 and 51, 
inasmuch as the words "after the road from 
Ta-ts'in has been performed from the north of 
the sea by land, the sea-route to Annam, etc., 
was tried/' may mean that the central Asiatic 
overland route was known previous to the sea- 
route vid Ceylon. On the other hand, the 
following paragraph says that, "formerly only 
the water-road was spoken of," i.e.^ the cir- 
cumnavigation of the Arabian Peninsula, and that 
" they did not know there was an ovterland route," 
ix.^ the Mesopotamian or Palmjrran route became 
known later than Kan Ying's intended sea-route. 
This is the only explanation I can give of these 
otherwise conflicting passages. Thus interpreted 
they furnish a sort of history of routes as known 
to the Chinese; these were — 

1st. — Kan Ying's intended route, overland to 
T'iao-chih and thence by sea to Ta-ts'in ; 

2nd, — after Kan Ying (A.D. 97), but previous 
to the introduction of the direct sea-rout^ vid 
Ceylon (A^D. 166): the overland route on terra 
firma entirely; 
I 3rd.— since A.D. 166 (e>., since the An-^tun 
V^ embassy), the direct sea-routCy'^ 

The sketch of the geography of dependent states 
which follows (P 53 to 76) clearly show& that 
some of the land-roads from Babylonia to Syria 
had become known in China during the third 
century. Nearly all the dependent states men- 


tioned as belonging to Ta-ts'in may be assumed 
to have been stations on the road to Antioch. 

The Hou-han-shu (E 4; cf. Q 9) says: "of 
dependent states there are several times ten," 
which statement is repeated in the Hsin-t ang-shu 
(L 12). In the Wei-lio^ the same remark is 
clothed in the words: "they have several times 
ten small kings " (P 33). The same record enu 
merates some of these states, all of which, if I am 
not deceived by my topographical intuition, must 
be looked for near the eastern confines of S3n:'ia 
amongst the out-stations of the Roman empire 
facing the frontier of Parthia. Their names are 
(P 41) : Ts6-san, Lfl-f6n, Ch'ieh-lan, Hsien-tu, 
Ssu-fii and Yfl-lo. The last named I have 
ventured to identify with the city of Hira in the 
Chaldaean Lake, and as one of the shipping-ports 
in T^iao-chih. The Weulio adds: "of other small 
kingdoms there are very many; it is impossible 
to enumerate them one by one." 

The above-named "dependent kingdoms," — 
probably so called because they were cities with 
Sidjoining territories under their original chiefs 
{hstaO'Wang^ P 33j 41) paying tribute to the 
Romans, are separately described (P 58 seqq.), 
but it is difficult to define their exact position. 
I would, for this very reason not guarantee the 
correctness of my translation, which may have 
to be modified after we shall have once got hold 
pf the key to this problem. Pending further 
Special researches I wish to put forward, not very 


confi4entIy, though, my present view, regarding 
the position of some of them. 

Ts6-san (old sound Da-s^n?*) i^ay have been 
another Alexandria, ^ AXe^apSpaa ^j'trpogTiyp^St^ yf]tdch 
wa^s at one time the name of Char^: Spasii^ 
tite ppincipal eBaporium of trade at the mojith of 
the Euphrates. I)t3 position was^ '' in tl^ nudd^e 

of the, sea" (P 59; Q 74\ which may m^^ft tljat 
ill WjaSi s»^x>^^de(J by aKn«i pf the ^up^^ 
Tsii^san wai^j fiuthiect -ni9.^est tp^t^ cfi|^yro£^-I^ 
iA An-M (Parthia)" (P 60 1 of. Q 74). Aft-ku, 
19^^ m^y Gpnclude f^pn^ anptfhe^ P^^sii^g^ (P ^}^ Wi^: 
a $hippiegrppyt^ like^ Y^-lp c^- T'i^pTqluh,, c^ qr- 
ifi^^ the cq&sX Qf the P^sj^n Gulf ; and if, as I 
QOQJecture„ it W:^s ic^ntlQ^l witb t^e dty caJUh^ 
Ckchoig OF Erek, Ts^-^ai^i, way well Imve bi^e^ ^ 
district on the eutrance to the river (Mesene?), 
I'sS-saUf like^ all these pojct)^ w^as a place f^^ 
wMch yAu cpuld tafee passage, by ^a tfft t)^ 
Red Sea, for ^^ south-west it.e.y ^pviti;^ %i^ \k^ 

w^st]^ you go to tl^e. capital of Ta-t?'i%^ we 

^ not lp?pvvr_ the i^umher pf 1^' (P 6;; Q 7^y. 
Whatever its, specif site paay ha^ve bep;^ ij; i§^ 

^ The character ^ tsS, which is now identical in sound and* to&Q 
\el1ih the ^ Ys^ pf thp name Ts^san, is tuied; to repre^nt t)i9, §7^irt^ 

d^ va, Ss^crit PajjdaJou Jfuli^n^ M^fl^fi> p^t ^^^JB^^,» ®^«* ?Yf 
STo. 2147. 

> The passage L 13 should be interpreted as an attempt to repes^ 
the fiicts stated in the WH-Uq;. but, iu. order to avoid cqpji9g'lit$^:^jj[sc# 
th^ writer has there chose^ to i^ayert tli^ dl;r^tions 9! t^e^C9pipf^ \^ 
sajring "north-east" for " south- vest," etc. In thus trying to in^prove 
the reading of an ancient text, mediaeval authors, who like the modem 
Chinese had no idea of the real configuration of western countdei^ wiU 


ID^NTlFir?A'?iOW»F-*^'«-^ ' I9I 

Stated that "north you go by water half a year, 
with qiiick winds a riionth, to Lii-f6n" (P 60; 
Q 74). This would take lis, after a lengthy river 
paslsage, ^to some region near the upper <ioutS6 of 
the Eijphrates; let us say the kingdota of Osrhdefi^fe, 
With the itiiih Roman dties'bf Edessa, NictphiWtim, 
etc.* The <3ity df Lii-f6n was 2;doo4i di^aiit frd&i 
th€ 'coital of Ta-ts^in. The dStandfe %:dfh -»i(<fe- 
phorium to Aiitiddh ^Hd ApUtUe^ and ^Zfetf^a Wtfy 
be fairly represented as itieaisurihg i2;o6o ^tiidib.' 

be often Ibtiiid to practice What "we Gernianes call " vdfMllhorxii^." If 
we are lucky enough to trace such passages back to the original from 
which they are derived, we can easily iemedy the blunder by igi^oring 
It. The couiit^ of iShan in tlie s6uth-W^t of China is'a Us^fiil exatti- 
pie for illustrating what I niean. The Hou-kdn-sku (C 3) says that in 
the south-west of Shan one proceeds to Ta-ts'in, alluding, df coufse, 
to the direction in which vessels steer when starting for Ceylon, and 
disregarding entirely the remainder of the journey. ISif ediaeval Wutliors 
and moderta encyclopaedists Would pick from this passage '^the ibct 
that ''Sh^n is in the horth-east of Ta-tsMn," which it is dai^erons'for 
Europeans to repeat. We should in all -such cases of divergency be 
guided by the reading of the older text, except when We have reason 
to assume that the later adthor has had a still earlier' te^t befofe him, 
Which is not 6lften the case. 

'* ^e^&ct, Lihtb. d. Alt. Geogr,, p. rsy^eq.; cf. Gibbon, ch. VIII. 

> The distance from the Gulf of Issus to Zeugma was, according to 
Stl'abo (XVI, p. 749), 1400 stadia; that from Antioch to- Zeugma may 
be set down as less, as the Amanus range of hills probably forced 
travelers to pass Antioch, in order to reach the Gulf. Thus i^ioo 
stadia may be considered a fair estimate in the sense of Strabo for the 
road from Antioch to Zeugma. From the city on the opposite shore 
t)f the Euphrates, Apamea, I compute 31 schoeni (*^930 stadia) to 
Nicephorium according to the itinerary of Isidorus Characenus 
CBiffiller, Vol. I, p. 244 seqq. ; cf. Prolegomena, p. LXXXVI). The 
total of the two distances sufficiently approaches the 2,00a li or stadia 
^f Chinese records to support this identification. 

l()2 _ .^.>ilTmCATIONS. 

"West from the city oV Lfl-f6n is the flying 
bridge for crossing the sea in Ta-ts4n, 230 li in 
length" (P 63; Q 75). The Chinese frequently 
speak of "crossing the sea," where you actually 
cross "a river." To cross the Peari River at 
Canton is up to the present day called kuo-haty 
and not kuo-ko; and a comparison of the 
passages P 73 and P 75 shows that the same water 
is in almost the same paragraph spoken of as a 
river and as a sea as well ; we may, therefore, be 
allowed to interpret this passage as meaning : "west 
of the city of Lfl-f6n you cross the river (the 
Euphrates) in a flying bridge." The length of the 
bridge is not to be taken, of course, as so many li, 
nor even as so many stadia ; but we have to assume 
that the number of paces (passus) has been errone- 
ously translated into the corresponding number of 
li. The flying bridge, I conclude from the 
situation described (west of Lii-ffin, on the road 
to the capital of Ta-ts*in), was identical with the 
bridge built by Seleucus, the founder of the 
two cities facing each other on either side of 
the Euphrates, Apamea and Zeugma.* Out of 

1 Zeugma . . . transitu Euphratis nobile. ex adverse Apameam 
Seleucus, idem utriusque conditor, ponte junxerat. Plin., V, 24 (21), 
86. Pliny speaks also of an iron chain, by means of which Alexander 
the Great had established a bridge between the two shores at Zeugma 
("ferunt . . . exstare ferream catenam apud Euphratem amnem in 
urbe quae Zeugma appellatur, qua Alexander Magnus ibi junxerit 
pontem, etc.," XXXIV, 15 (43), 150). If this second passage refers to 
the same Zeugma as the first, it appears that the river was actually cross- 
ed by means of a fl3ring bridge (Jei-chHao) as indicated in the Chinese 
record. Regarding the three places of passage across the Euphrates 
in that neighbourhood, and the bridge at Zeugma, see Bunbury, Ix,, 


the several well-known cities of the district 
OsrhoSne I would have given the preference to 
Edessa for identification with "the city of L(i-f6n," 
but for the passage P 64, which says that '*the 
road, if you cross the sea [river], goes to the south- 
west ; if you make a round at sea [on the river], 
you go due west/' This suggests the existence 
of a double route from Lii-f6n to Antioch, one by 
land and the other by river. The city of Samosota 
would answer this description well enough; however, 
it was probably not one of the stations on the road to 
Antioch, for which reason I would prefer the city 
of Nicephorium, which lay on the road, and whence 
you could reach the capital by going due west by 
river, or by land vtd the bridge at Zeugma with its 
south-western road to Antioch. 

Ch'ieh-lan, I venture to suggest from the descrip- 
tion of the roads in that part of Asia made in the 
WeuliOj was some region in the east of S)rria, per- 

Vol. II, p. 107. The bridge referred to in the Hou-han-sku and in 
later records is apparently the Zeugma near the site of the present 
town of Birehjik. Professor Sachau iR^ise in Syrien und Mesopotatnien, 
p. 178), speaking of the d6bris of an ancient city found a few miles 
north of the ferry at Birehjik, says : "Bemerkenswerth ist auch, dass 
von jener Seite ein dammartiger Steinbau in den Euphrat hineinragt, 
der wie der Rest einer alten Brflcke aussieht." This may have been 
the eastern wharf or landing-pier of a fl3ring bridge. I regret not to 
have found an3rwhere a statement as to the breadth of the river at 
that spot, as this may possibly confirm the length of the bridge, stated 
in (/hinese records to have been 230 or 340 li (>vhere passus; see 
P 64 and Q 75). . I recollect having read extracts from a letter 
written by Count von Moltke during his Asiatic travelling period, 
commenting on the rocky nature of the soil near Birehjik as an 
argument suggesting that the present shores of the &mous river 
passage must be the same as those seen by ancient travellers. 


haps Palmyra (Tadmor). Ssu-t*ao mentioned in 
the passage referred to (P 66) may possibly be 
Sittake on the right bank of the Tigris, whence 
a road may have led due south to the site of 
Babylon on the Euphrates^; or, as the Wei-h'o 
says, ** coming from the country of Ssu-t*ao you 
go due south and cross the river, then go due 
west to Ch4eh-lan 3,600 li ; when the road comes 
out in the south of the river, you go west." 
The road across the desert actually left the banks 
of the Euphrates at a considerable distance from 
the probable place of passage opposite and south- 
west of Sittake near the little town of Is. Its 
length may be fairly set down as 3,000 stadia, as 
the distance from Palmyra to Seleucia is given by 
Pliny (V, 25, (21), 88) as 337,000 paces, i.e., about 
4,500 stadia. The distance of 600 li or stadia 
laid on in a westerly direction, takes us right into 
Syria. *' Coming from Ch'ieh-lan you go again 
straight to the country of Ssu-fu on the western 
river 600 li'' (P 67). The mention of a *^ western 
river'* would point to Emesa, on the right bank 
of the Orontes ; but, as all editions do not contain 

1 I am well aware how uncertain our knowledge regarding this 
portion of the country is at present. Sittake, which is mentioned by 
Xenophon, may, or may not, have existed during the third century 
A.D., the period described in the Wei-lio, Certainly the district 
Sittakene existed at Strabo's time. See Bunbury, /.^., Vol. I, pp. 349 
and 370. Possibly the structure known as the Median Wall, some 
remains of which were discovered by Lieut. Bewsher (Bunbury, /^.), 
forced travellers to go south instead of west and to cross the 
Euphrates nearer the site of Babylon than would have been necessary 
under ordinary circumstances. 


the word ho J^, and, as the better reading appears 

to be hsing ^, I would not lay stress on this point. 
Emesa is the city at which the Palmyran road 
through the desert joins the "southern road*' 
leading from Petra north to Antioch. The Chinese 
account further says that "where the southern road 
joins Ssii-fu {ix.^ the road to Ssu-fu), there is the 
country of Hsien-tu in the south-west.'' This last- 
named locality might be identical with Damask, 
the site of which was slightly south-west of Emesa. 
The Wei'lio continues (P 68): "Going due south 
from Ch4eh-lan and Ssii-fu, there is the "Stony 
Land*' (Chi-shih,=" accumulated stones)." This, 
it appears, is merely a descriptive name of the 
rocky portion of Arabia Petraea, the country 
about Petra. This conjecture is supported 
by the remark that "in the south of the Stony 
Land you come to the great sea which pro- 
duces corals and real pearls;" by this sea none 
but the Red Sea could be meant, if our other 
identifications are correct.^ 

The following paragraph in the Wei-lio (P 69) 
describes in broad features the general direction of 
the principal mountain ranges in western Asia. 
"In the north of Ch4eh-lan (Palmyra?), Ssu-fu 
(Emesa?), Ssii-pin (Ktesiphon ?), and A-man (Acba- 
tana?) there are [ranges of] hills extending from 
east to west ; in the east of Ta-ts4n \ix.^ of Hai-hsi, 
the country on the west of the sea, the country on 

* Cf. "the Coral Sea," M i ; and "the Coral Islands south-west in 
the Chang-hai," Q 29. Both corals and pearls were to be found in the 
Red Sea, as will be shown hereafter. 


the Red Sea] as well as of Hai-tung [the country 
on the Persian Gulf, i.e.^ the countries on the 
Euphrates and Tigris] there are [ranges of] hills 
extending from north to south." The range run- 
ning east to west in the north of Emesa, Palmyra, 
Ktesiphon and Acbatana must be the Taurus ; the 
range running north to south in the east (?) of Ta- 
ts'in may be the Libanon with its northern and 
southern spurs; the range in the east of Hai- 
tung is the Zagrus Mons with its spurs, and the 
various ' ranges running parallel with the river in 
the east of the Tigris. 

The account of dependent states as given by the 
Wei'liOy and the explanation I have attempted to 
make of it, may, so far, be considered satisfactory. 
But the paragraphs that follow [P 72 to 76] become 
a great puzzle indeed, inasmuch as in them the 
route previously described is connected with loca- 
lities clearly belonging to quite another quarter. 
It is there said that "from Hsien-tu (Damask?) 
you go 600 li north-east to Ssu-fu (Emesa?), and 
that from Ssu-fu (Emesa?) you go 340 li north-east 
to Yii-lo, taking sea (or river) passage." This 
last-named place I have tried to identify with 
Hira. How could Hira come to be in the north- 
east of Emesa, or, indeed, in the north-east of any 
place in that neighbourhood, if Ssu-fu were 
perchance identical with some other region in the 
north-west of the Palmyran desert? To make 
sense of this account we are bound to assume that 
our Chinese text, or the original text on which 


it is based, has suffered some kind of mutilation, 
resulting in this confusion being made of an 
otherwise intelligible digest. 

All that follows is quite intelligible again, and 
supports my conjecture as to the identity of 
Ytt-lo and Hira. It is said (P 74) that " Ytt-lo 
is subject to Ta-ts*in," and (P 75) that " north-east 
of it you cross a river to Ssu-Io, and north-east 
of this you again cross a river." Ssu-lo (P 76) 
is said to be " subject to An-hsi (Parthia), and to 
be on the boundary of Ta-ts*in." The eastern 
boundary of Roman territories has varied, of course, 
with Roman success in Parthian and Persian 
warfare; but the city of Seleucia may, better than 
any other, be considered a boundary city between 
the two empires. To reach Ssu-lo from Yfl-lo 
(Hira) you had to cross the Euphrates and travel 
north-east; and beyond Ssu-lo you crossed a river 
again, the Tigris, which separated it from Ktesi- 
phon, the winter residence of the Parthian kings. 
The city had, it is true, been repeatedly laid waste, 
and, after its destruction by Avidius Cassius in 
A.D. 165, had not recovered its ancient grandeur 
as the chief centre of Parthian commerce; but a 
new city, sometime known under the name of 
Koche,* had grown out of its ruins, which, with 
Ktesiphon on the left bank of the river was united 
into the city of Madain, the capital of Persian 
rulers since Artaxerxes. As the Arsacide dynasty 
had, since its overthrow by the Sassanides in A.D. 

1 Chdche, Kiepert, Lc, p. 148. 


226, ceased to rule on the banks of the Tigris, it 
looks like an anachronism to find Parthian (An-hsi) 
cities spoken of in the Wei-lto^ which is supposed 
to cover the period A.D. 220 to 264. We have 
to assume, therefore, that the informants who 
furnished this account silently transferred the 
name of the old rulers (An-hsi, Arsacides) to the 
new government. It appears from Ma Tuan-lin*s 
account of Persia {Po-ssu jft ^ ch. 339, p. 6) 
that the new Persian empire was first brought into 
contact with China during the After Wei dynasty 
(A.D. 386-543) ; the city of Madain is in this 
account clearly mentioned as the western capital 
under the name Su-li (^^)Jtfi).^ It lies on 
the banks of the Ta-ho-shui (^ )$f ^JC, in Can- 
tonese 7a/-^o/ = Tigris, arm. Deklath; Diglito^ 
Plin., VI,- 27 (31), 127; Greek root: TIPPIA?), 
and the river passes through the middle of the 
city, flowing south. The country south and 
down river is there said to be identical with 
ancient Piao-chih [^m^-^^^M^^ 
^ ;^ ;^ i5tSc % ifc ), which may be considered an 
additional proof in support of the Chaldaean iden- 
tification of that country. 

1 Called Su-lin (£96) i^ ^^^ Sui-sJtu. Bretschneider iNotes and 
Queries f Vol. IV, p. 54) identifies this place with "ancient Susa» in 
proximity to modern Shuster," on the ground that this was the capital 
of the Sassanides in the time of the Sui dynasty (A.D. 581-618). I 
am not aware that this was the case ; moreover, the proximity of the 
site of ancient Susa to modern Shuster has, since the excavations 
carried on in 1852 by Mr. Loftus at Sus, been abandoned by the 
scientific world. See Loftus, " On the determination of the River 
Eulaeus," in /. R. G, 5., Vol. XXVII, p. 120 seqq. 


One of the dependencies, according to Chinese 
records, was the city of Ch4h-san, which is called 
a royal city {wang-ch^ eng) by Ma Tuan-lin (Q ii). 
I have already attempted to identify this place 
with the city of Alexandria in Egypt {see p. i8i). 
Its first mention is apparently found in the 
Wei'lto (P 9 and 14), which seems to show that 
its importance as an emporium of trade became 
known iiv China during the first Wei dynasty 
(A.D. 220 to 264), though we have no proof 
whatever that this was not the case several 
centuries sooner. Ma Tuan-lin may have had an 
earlier authority before him when he said (Q 10 
seq.): ^*In the west [of Ta-ts4n] there is the 
Great Sea. On the west of the sea there is the royal 
city of Ch'ih-san." I have been determined to 
make this identification chiefly on the ground of the 
description made of its situation in the Wei-lio^ and 
I am strengthened in my assumption by a passage 
in the Hsin-fang-shu (L 6 and 7), purposing to 
describe the eastern and western boundaries of 
Fu-lin: "In the west, the country borders on the 
sea with the city of Ch4h-san ; in the south-east 
it borders on Po-ssu (Persia).*' Neumann {Asiat. 
Studten^ p. 172) intimates that '4n the T^ang-shu^ 
Constantinople is distinctly mentioned under the 
name Tschy or Sy san, t,e,^ Byzantium." Bret- 
schneider {Arabs ^ etc., p. 24) calls the first character 
of this name a misprint (j^ ch^ih instead of ^ pi) 
and tries thus to reconstruct a name Pi-san (=By- 
zantium). I make use of this opportunity to say that 
the assumption of misprints in Chinese texts should 


not be resorted to except in cases where very 
urgent circumstantial evidence enforces such a 
proceeding. The circumstances in this case would 
not permit us to identify Ch'ih-san with Byzantium, 
even if Fu-lin could be proved to have been the 
Eastern Empire ; moreover, the occurrence of the 
name in the Wei'lio is a strong argument against 
such a supposition, as this record refers to the third 
century, when, after its destruction in the contest 
between Niger and Severus (A.D. 196), "the des- 
tined capital of the east subsisted only as an open 
village*' (Gibbon). 

Amongst the dependencies of Ta-ts4n, or Fu-lin, 
we find mention made of the countries of the Ama- 
zons and the Pygmies. These accounts, we must 
assume, were not based on reality; they are but 
pieces of western folk-lore, imported into China with 
the accounts of other countries, which the informer, 
whether Chinese or Roman, had never visited him- 
self. The Amazons and the Pygmies must have 
impressed the Chinese imagination, so susceptible 
of the wonderful, and this may have caused these 
traditions to be preserved in their records, whereas 
accounts of other matters, existing in reality, but 
being less wonderful, were consigned to oblivion* 

According to the HsinVang-shu (ch. 221, lieb- 
chuan 146^, p. 6), an island in the south-west ^ic] 
of Fu-lin is inhabited by a tribe called Hsi-nfi 
("western women"), who are all females. "The 


conntry contains many precious articles and is a de« 
pendency of Fu-lin. The mlers (chttn-chang) of 
Fu-lin send males to them every year to couple 
with them. It is their custom not to bring up male 
children they have born." The same authority 
(ch. 221, lieh-chuan 146 A, p. 6), speaking of the 
Tung-nfl ("eastern women") in Central Asia, says: 
"On the western sea there are likewise women with 
a female government, which is the cause of these 
[in Central Asia] being called eastern women." 
A parallel passage is contained in the Ta-t^ang-hsi- 
yU'Chi^ the account of Hsflan Chuang*s journeys, 
chiefly derived from Sanscrit sources, and com- 
pleted in A.D. 648,' ix.^ several centuries before 
the compilation of the Hsin-t^ang-shu. One is, 
in the face of the identity of this account (as well 
as of part of what the Hsin-fang-shu says about 
Persia) with the text of Hsiian Chuang*s work, 
in a temptation to assume that much of the 
information received in China regarding Fu-lin, 
perhaps also regarding the ancient Ta-ts*in, has 

^ Ch. XI, p. 23. Fu-lin is there written jH fil and is said to 
border on the north-east of Persia, the passage referred to occurring 
in an account of that country. Julien, Voyages des Pilirins Bouddhistis : 
M6moires de Hiouen-Thsang, Livre XI, p. 180, translates as follows : 
"Dans one tie situ6e au sud-ouest du royaume de Fo-lin, se trouve 
le royaume des femmes d'Occident. On n'y voit que des femmes, et 
pas un seul homme. Ce pays renferme une grande quantity de choses 
rares et pr^cieuses que Ton vend dans le royaume de Fo-lin, C'est 
pourquoi le roi de Fo-lin leur envoie, chaque ann^e, des hommes pour 
s'unir avec elles ; mais si elles donnent le jour k des gar9ons, la cou- 
tume du pays ne leur permet point de les Clever." 

» Julien, Vie de Hiouen-Thsang^ Preface, pp. V and LXX. 


come thither through Indian sources translated 
by Buddhist linguists, — a view lately put forward 
by Dr. Edkins\ There is certainly no doubt 
that, Hsuan Chuang*s being the older work and 
not a compilation' like the T^ang-shu^ the account 
of the Amazons must have been derived from it. 
The account here given of a nation of women 
agrees in many respects with what we read in 
Strabo (XI, p. 503, seq.) regarding the Amazons. 
But the Amazons of Strabo were said to occupy 
some region on the coast of Lake Maeotis, and 
not in the "south-west of Fu-lin,'* nor were they 
said to be living on an island; their neighbours 
who sent them males to couple with were not 
the Syrians but the Gargareans who lived at the 
foot of the Caucasus. Ma Tuan-lin (Q 52), quotes 
from the Tu-huan-hsing-ching-chi : " In the west 
[of Ta-ts*in] there is the country of women who, 
being affected by the influence of water, give 
birth to children (perhaps : ** who are born out of 
water," like the Venus Anadyomene of Cyprus).' 

Under the name of Hsiao-j6n (Dwarfs) the 
Pygmies are described by Ma Tuan-lin (Q 70). 

1 "What did the Ancient Chinese know of the Greeks and 
Romans;" by Joseph Edkins, D.D., in the Journal of the N,C. Branch 
of the R.A,S,, Vol. XVIII, pp. i to 19. 

3 Cf. Julien, "Notice Bibliographique sur le Si-yu-ki," in Mhwnres 
sur les Contries Occidentales, etc,, Vol. I, p. XXIII. 

3 I have not seen Paravey's Dissertation sur les Amazones dtmi 
le souvenir est conserve en Chine (Paris, 1840), but presume this work 
treats on 'the same subject. 


"These are in the south of Ta-ts4n. They are 
scarcely three ch4h (say 4 feet, Engl.) large. 
When thev work in the fields thev are afiraid of 
being devoured by cranes. Whenever Ta-ts*in 
has rendered them any assistance the dwarfs give 
them all they can afford in the way of precious 
stones to show their gratitude." This is the old 
legend of the dwarfs in Afiica told over again with 
all its details. The little folks were living in the 
south of Ta-ts'in or Syria. This quite agrees with 
the position assigned to them by Pomponius Mela 
who (III, 8, 81,-Frick), speaking of the inhabitants 
of the west coast of the Red Sea, says: " fuere interius 
Pygmaei, minutum genus, et quod pro satis frugibus 
contra grues dimicando defecit." Gellius {Noct 
Atttc.j IX, 4, 10,-Hertz) describes their size by say- 
ing: — "quorum qui longissimi sint, non longiores 
esse, quam pedes duo et quadrantem." It is not 
improbable that the Akka nation discovered by 
Schweinfurth^ were the real basis of all these 
accounts, the Chinese version of which has perhaps 
found its way to the Far East through a similar 
channel as the legend of the Amazons. It is 
remarkable that, whereas our Latin authority 
(Gellius) apparently exaggerates by giving the 
largest of these dwarfs no greater size than 
2^ feet. Ma Tuan-lin's account is much more in 
accordance with reality, if not in the lapse of 
centuries intermarriage with larger tribes has con- 
siderably increased their average height. The 

* Th€ Heart of Africa, Vol. II, p. 122 scqq. 


Chinese author gives them three ch^ihy which 
corresponds to 3^ feet English. Schweinfurth fur- 
nishes in his work the portraits of two Akka dwarfs 
whose height was 4 feet i inch and 4 feet 4 inches 
respectively; he adds (p. 140): "I never saw any 
instance in which the height materially exceeded 
4 feet 10 inches." 

The Hsifi't^ang'Shu (L 46 to 49) mentions the 
countries of certain black tribes in the south-west. 
To arrive at these countries, called Mo-lin and 
Lao-po-sa, one had to cross the desert in the south- 
west of Fu-lin. This is no doubt the desert of 
Sin on the Peninsula of Sinai. Ma Tuan-lin 
(Q 53) specifies its situation by saying that- it is 
in the south-west of the country of Yang-sa-lo, 
which is perhaps a Chinese transcription of the 
name Jerusalem.' On having crossed the desert 
you arrive in the countries referred to at a distance 
of 2,000 li. The inhabitants are black and of a 
violent disposition; the country is malarious, and 
has no vegetation ; cereals are scarce (Q 55); the 
inhabitants feed their horses on dried fish ; men eat 
hu'tnang^ which name is explained as meaning the 
Persian date. Ma Tuan-lin (Q 57) adds that the 
hill tribes which one has to pass in pursuing the 
overland road of these countries are of the same 

1 H A? is used in the contracted word lo-mo (|^ |||)^ "pour la 
terminaison lamy Julien, Mithodepour dkhiffrer^ etc., IV, No. 1045. 
The final character may have been dropped, which may be frequently 
observed in polysyllabic names. 


race. We are probably right in assuming that the 
countries here described extend along the west 
coast of the Red Sea as far as the former Troglo- 
dytae or Ichthyophagi, the fabulous fish -eaters of 
ancient renown. I certainly prefer the barren 
parts of the eastern coast of Eg3rpt as being more 
likely to have furnished dried fish in quantities as 
fodder for horses than some territory in the interior 
of Africa. The Red Sea coast of Egypt was quite 
prominently known for its barrenness, and the date 
palm, as in other parts of Egypt, furnished the 
main part of man's daily food. We find statements 
almost analagous with that made in the T^ang-shu^ 
regarding certain tribes on the coast of Oman, 
visited and described by both Marco Polo and Ibn 
Batuta, the former noticing the large consumption 
of dates and fish as articles of food, the latter, **the 
surprising custom of feeding cattle of all sorts 
upon small fish."* Oman was, unfortunately, 
situated in the south-east and not in the south-west 
of Fu-lin, and too far distant from Fu-lin, so as 
to exclude the idea of this country being meant. 
We have to fall back on the Egyptian coast, 
therefore, say the country about Myos Hormos,* 
which may have become known to travellers dis- 
embarking there for continuing the route by way 
of Koptos and Alexandria. Strabo (XV, p. 720) 

> Yule, Cathay and the Way ThitJter, Vol. II p. 400. 

s 3,000 stadia along the coast south of ArsinOe, which may be 
considered as the terminus of the road from Jerusalem across the 
south-western desert, take us to the neighbourhood of the probable 
site of that port. 


also mentions the date palm amongst the prin- 
cipal trees, and the habit of feeding cattle upon 

fish: Toh 5' I'xOvo'i j^pUvrai koi avrol koi OpejuLjuLaTa, 

Lieut. Kempthorne (^^ Notes made on a Survey- 
along the Eastern Shores of the Persian Gulf in 
1828," in y. R. G. S., Vol. V, p. 270) says, with 
regard to the opposite coast: **The inhabitants 
still live entirely on fish, the cattle having much 
the same diet as their masters, for the country- 
is wholly destitute and barren, and yields no sort 
of grass. Vast stores of oysters, crabs, and all 
kinds of shell-fish, are found on the coast. In 
many places, both here and in Arabia, the cattle 
are fed entirely on dried fish and dates mixed 
together, on account of the great scarcity of grass 
in these sunburnt and sandy regions." We are 
pretty safe in transferring all that has been said 
with regard to the Ichthyophagi of the Arabian 
coast of the Persian Gulf to those in the neigh- 
bourhood of Myos Hormos or Berenice ; for, the 
two classes of tribes described under this common 
name are in every respect similar as regards the 
country they inhabit and their mode of life, as has 
been insinuated by Agatharchides,^ the principal 
authority regarding them. I quote from Miiller's 
revised Latin version: ^*Ac primum de Ichthyo- 
phagis Aethiopibus (qui piscibus nutriuntur) 
dicemus, quibus maritima habitatur regio a Car- 

.' Mtiller, GeOj^r. Graec. Min.y Vol. I, p. 129 seqq. (Agatharch. § 31; 
for further literary reference see Mtiller's note on p. 129, and Pro- 
legomena, p. LIX seqq.). 


mania et Gedrosia ad extremum usque recessum 
sinus Arabici, qui in mediterranea incredibili 
prope spatio excurrens, ad ostium a duabus con- 
tinentibus, hinc Arabia felice, illinc Autaeis, 
qui sunt ad extremum sinus Arabici secessum, 
quem magnum includit mare, usque ad Indiam et 
Gedrosiam. et Carmaniam et Persas insulasque 
memoratis gentibus subjectas ubique habitant 
Ichthyophagi (homines ex piscibus victitantes); 
qui nudo, tam feminae quain viri, sunt corpore, 
et communem sobolis procreationem habent; natu- 
rali quidem voluptatis et molestiae cognitione, sed 
turpium et honestorum iie minima qtiidem prcediti 
notitiay The last paragraphs may serve as a key 
to the mysterious passages L 50 and Q 59, which 
have probably suffered some slight corruption in 
the text. Mr. Parker proposes to translate (L 50) 
as follows: ^^Thev are not ashamed of incest, 
and in this respect they are the worst among the 
barbarians," and I quite agree to this change in 
my version as it brings us another step nearer to 
the classical tradition regarding the Ichthyophagi. 

The Chinese ancient records, as preserved in 
the contemporaneous annals and in certain 
extracts compiled by later authors, contain a 
series of details regarding the capital of Ta-ts4n, 
which it would be most interesting to compare 
with what has been handed down in western 
authors with regard to the antiquities of the city 
of Antioch; for, Antioch, as the residence of the 


Roman pro-consul ruling over the whole orient 
(Syria, Egypt and Asia Minor), must be considered 
the capital of Ta-ts4n. Such details have been 
collected in a well-known work, the ^^ Anttquitates 
Antiochencp" by Otfried MuUer (Gottingen, 1841); 
but my attempts to procure a copy of it from 
Europe have failed, and I am obliged, for the 
present, to confine mylself to placing together the 
principal statements, regarding the subject, scatter- 
ed over the Chinese accounts of various ages. 
The capital of Ta-ts4n was, during the Wei 

dynasty, called An-tu ^ |9S (I 2 and Q 3). 
Pauthier^ has justly referred this name to the city 
of Antioch. Colonel Yule^ remarks: "With re- 
ference to this name, apparently indicating Anttoch^ 
it is curious to read in Mas'udi that, at the time 
of the Mussulman conquest there remained of the 
original name of the city only the letters Alif^ 
Nun and 7a." This would be a sufficient argu- 
ment to account for the Chinese name containing 
no k at the end ; for, whatever principles we may 
follow with regard to ancient sounds of Chinese 
characters, there is nothing in the authorities 

quoted in K'ang-hsi's ^ tu which would justify 
the assumption* of the old sound of this word having 
been tuk. But An-tu is, in my opinion, quite a 
sufficient Chinese equivalent for the sound Antio- 
chia. The Atlas AnttquuSy by Spruner and Menke, 
(Map No. IX) contains a plan of the city, probably 

1 Pauthier, de rAutkenticite, etc., p. 34. 

2 Cathay, etc., Vol. I, p. CCXLI. 



based on data contained in Mailers work; and, 
althongh I am not in the position to furnish the 
proof of its accuracy by quoting the necessary 
classical passages regarding all details, the re- 
putation of its compilers warrants it being a fair 
representative of the views held by the learned 
world with regard to the general outlines of the 
city and its parts. The rough sketch I have 
drawn from it will suflSce to illustrate the Chinese 
description of the city. I have made no addition 
of my own, excepting the dotted lines enclosing 
the "suburbia" in the north-east of the royal city. 


According to the Wez-s/iu (I 9), ^^the royal 
'/capital is divided into five cities, each five li square.'* 



It appears from the following passages that the 
five subdivisions of the city here mentioned were 
properly four, with a fifth, the king's city in the 
middle. For, ^*the king resides ii\the middle city" 
(I .10), and *'in the royal [z\e. the middle] city 
there are established eight high officials who divide 
among themselves the government over the four 
cities'' (I 11). The four cities which remain, if we 
assume the fifth, or middle, city to have been the 
residence of city magistrates, made up the tetra- 
polis of Antioch described by Strabo.^ The 

division into four cities having each a separate 

wall (for such is the meaning of the Chinese ch^ing 

here used for *'city''), the whole being surrounded 

by a general wall, is a characteristic feature of the 

city of Antioch which, if all other arguments failed, 

would be alone sufficient to distinguish it from any 

^ "EcTTt 8' 1^ /i€v 'AvTtox^ta /cat avrr) rerpa.TroXi.S'i Ik T€rrdp(av 
(Tvvco-Tokra jx€p(t)V' rer^ixurrai 8c koX KOLV(f r€i\f.i koX iSi(^ KaO* 
cKtto-Tov TO KTMT/itt. Strab., XVI, p. 750. The king's city, that 
part which had been built by Callinicus and which contained the 
Regia, occupied an island in the Orontes. Three principal divisions, 
surrounded by walls, extended south of the river, and these made up 
the tetrapolis together with the royal city. The fifth part, i^,, that 
part which is not counted by the classical authors who speak of a 
"fourfold city," is the suburbium in the north of the river. It must 
have occupied a considerable area; for, Pliny (V, 21 (18), 79) says 
that the city "is divided by the Orontes;" this seems to show that 
a considerable portion of it must have occupied the northern shore, 
to which the tetrapolis proper does not extend. The Regia, which 
may be said to occupy the middle, if we count the northern "suburbia" 
as one of the four cities, was the seat of government; for, to 
l3aa-lX€Lov €VTavOa iSpvTo Tots apxovcTL rrjs x*^P^^' (Strab., /.^.) 


Other large city of the ancient west, especially the 
rival cities of Rome and Alexandria. * 

The circuit of the "capital city*' is stated to 
have been — 

i.^ — "over a hundred li" during the Han, Wei 
and Chin dynasties, t.e,, about during the first three 
centuries A.D. (E 13; P 34; F 4); 

2. — "sixty li*' during the northern Wei dynasty, 
i.e.^ A.D. 386 to 556 (I 9); and 

3. — "eight li*' during the T'ang dynasty, t.e.^ 
during the seventh and following centuries; for, 
"the city wall is eight li broad'' (L 15), and "the 
royal city is eighty li square '' (Q 47). 

The city of Antioch had since its foundation in 
B.C. 301 by Seleucus Nicator received several ex- 
tensions, until up to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes 
(died B.C. 163) it had increased in size so as to 
contain font separate walled cities apart from its 
suburbs. But the height of its prosperity reaches 
far into the Christian era. Several Roman em- 
perors spent part of their lives at this, their 
eastern, capital, and under the emperors it was 
the permanent residence of the proconsul ruling 
over the Roman "Oriens," comprising Asia 
Minor, Syria and Eg)rpt. From the plan of 
the city, as furnished by Spruner and Menke, 
referring to the second century B.C., it will 

1 Ancient Syracuse, which also contained five subdivisions, cannot 
be seriously thought of, as, quite apart from all other points being at 
variance with the. Chinese description, it was, at the beginning of the 
Christian era, mwely a provincial town of no importance. 


be seen that **a hundred stadia or li*' in cir- 
cumference is by no means an exaggeration, if 
we include the suburb in the north-east. It was 
during the fifth century A.D., i.e.^ during the time 
when the northern Wei ruled in China, that the 
city began to decay; and just at the close of the 
Wei dynasty (A.D. 532) a terrible earthquake 
became fatal to its glory; and, although Justinian 
rebuilt the city at enormous expense, he was not 
able to revive its old grandeur. This is the period 
when we find the lowest circuit, 60 li or stadia, in 
the Chinese record. Under the Arabs the city 
recovered to a certain extent; and, accordingly, 
we find it to measure 80 li or stadia again during 
the T^ang dynasty. 

Whatever the extent of truthfulness of the 
figures preserved in Chinese records may be, there 
is no doubt that Antioch could at its best times 
fairly compete in size with any of the large cities 
of the ancient world. Friedlaender (/.c, Vol. I, 
/^th ed., 1873, P- 6) is inclined to give it, with its 
suburbs, the circumference of 18,072 paces (=144 
stadia), whereas Alexandria is set down at 16,360, 
and Rome at 14,120 paces. The circumference of 
the city of Byzantium, which was divided into 
14 regions, is reported to have been under Con- 
stantine (A.D. 330), when it was rebuilt and 
considerably enlarged, not more than 7 miles 
(=56 stadia). 

^* The walls of the capital are built of stone and 
are of enormous height (K 14; cf. E 5 and P 17); 


in the east of the city there is a large gate, the 
height of which IS over twenty chang (=over 235 
feet);^ it is Jpeset with yellow gold from top to 
bottom, and shines at a distance of several li 
(K 17; cf. L 16). Coming from outside to the 
royal residence there are three large gates beset 
with all kinds of rare and precious stones (K 18; 
cf. L 17). On the upper floor of the second gate 
they have suspended a large golden scale; twelve 
golden balls are suspended from the scale-stick by 
which the twelve hours of the day are shown. 
A human figure has been made all of gold of the 
size of a man standing upright, on whose side, 
whenever an hour has come, one of the balls will 
drop, the dingling sound of which makes known 
the divisions of the day without the slightest 
mistake (K 19; cf. L 18).'' 

We know that the city walls of Antioch were 
exceptionally high. As to the East Gate, I am 
not now in the position to identify the fact handed 
down in the Chinese record.^ The mechanism 
described further on must have been a clepsydra; 

1 Probably this measure, like the li of itineraries, is not to be 
taken in the Chinese sense. 

2 "A large part of the walls built by Justinian still remains, and 
they may be traced round a circuit of four miles. But the city before 
Justinian's time occupied a much larger area. The walls, which were 
greatly injured by the earthquake of 1822, are from 30 to 50 feet high, 
15 feet thick, and flanked by numerous square towers." " The eastern 
gate is called Bab Boulous, after St. Paul [=the ancient Porta 
Orientalis ?] ; part of the ancient pavement still remains." "The 
remains of an aqueduct exist to the south of the city." English 
CyclofHtdia, Vol. X, p. 383. 


as such at least the Chinese have recog^ed it, the 
YUan-chien-lei-han^ ch. 369, p. 34, quoting the 
description of the T^ang-shu under the heading 
K*o-lou (^ IS)' ^-^-i "Clepsydras." 

We are told in the Wei-lio (P 16) that the 
capital of Ta-ts'in was situated on the banks of a 
ho'hai^ a river-sea, which term I have ventured 
to translate by " river estuary;" it probably means 
a river {ho) accessible to sea-going vessels. Such, 
indeed, was the Orontes, the river of Antioch, by 
which the city could be reached from the sea coast 
within a day.* 

The facts stated in connection with the size 
of Ta-ts'in and Fu-lin would be clear enough but 
for the doubtfulness of the expressions used in all 
Chinese records in describing them. The Hou- 
han-shu (E 2) says: "its territory is fang shu- 
Mien li^' and the question arises, how have we to 
interpret these words? Former translators agree 
in rendering them by "several thousand li square;*' 
but this is not the orthodox meaning of the phrase. 
We read in Mencius (1, 11, 2,-p. 29, Legge): !St^ 
^ H ^ [fflj -p M kua-jen chih yu fang ssu-shth li^ 
"my park contains only forty li." We have to 
translate thus, and not "forty li square," because 
this would amount to 1,600 square li, which would 
be a very handsome area for a park, whereas the 
speaker in Mencius, as may be concluded from the 

1 Strab., XVI, p. 751; 'AvaTrXov? 8' €k ^aXamys cotIv c& t^v 
'Amox€tav av6r)fi€p6v. 


context, wishes to say that his is a Yery modest 
pajrk. This passage is, moreover, so explained in 
the Chinese commentaries as to call for a trans- 
lation in the above sense.* On the other hand, 
Legge translates in a similar passage [Lun-yu^ XI, 
25, 5,-p, III) "sixty or seventy li square," and in 
this case, as the context shows, the orthodox 
rendering would go against the general sense. 
This seems to show that such phrases as fang 
shU'ChHen li^ f<^ng liu-ch^ien li^ etc., should not 
be considered as having a definite meaning. To 
give an idea what an ancient author may mean 
by them, comparison with better known territories 
is perhaps the safest means. In the Sui-shu^^ 
written during the beginning of the 7th century, 
the country of Ch*ih-t*u (aj^ il @3)) described as 
being a part of Fu-nan (^^), or Siam, is stated 
to be fang shu-chHen li^ t.e.^ exactly the size given 
to Ta-ts4n in the Hou-han-shii, Whatever the 
real size of this country may have been, it is 
certain tl;iat it cannot be compared in extent to 
the Roman Empire. For, Ch4h-t*u was but a part 
of Fu-nan, and Fu-nan, again, was but one out of 
a number of countries occupying the peninsula 
between the Bay of Bengal and that of Tung- 
king, even the whole of which would correspond 
to not too large a portion of the Imperium 
Romanum. In the Liang-shu^^ the country of 

^ See Legge's note ad /. c, 

* Hai-kuO'fU'Chihf ch. 5, p. 16. 

3 Ibid,, ch. 6, p. I. 


Tun-hsiin (0^ JH), being one of the countries on 
the Malayan Peninsula (isai hai-chH shang ^ jfj: 
li(% Jt) and identified with Malacca of the Ming- 
shih^ is said to be fang chHen It. This cleariy 
shows that a country ** several thousand li" in 
extent, as described by the Chinese phrase referred 
to, can at the best be a province of Rome, 
but not the empire itself.^ We must assume 
that, in the oldest days of their trade with 
the Far West, the Chinese were not aware 
of the extent of the country which bought 
up their silks. During the Han dynasty, their 
descriptions probably comprise the whole of 
Syria ; a few centuries later, as we may conclude 
from the accounts applying to the time of the Wei 
dynasty, other parts were added, probably Egypt, 
as I conclude from the allusion to what I have 
tried to trace as the River Nile and the city of 
Alexandria (P 8 to 14) and from the modified 
statement of the size of the country which, in the 
Wei'Shu (I 6), is said to contain 6,000 li,^ 
while the Chin-shu^ describing a period preceding 
that of the Wei, says: "in this country several 
thousand li in all directions of the compass are 
covered with cities and other inhabited places '* 
(F 3; cf. Q 8). It appears that, during the later 
Wei period, reaching up to the middle of the 
sixth century, the territory formerly belonging 

1 The territory described by these doubtful phrases is still further 
curtailed if we translate li by "stadia." 

2 The Wei-lio (P 15) makes it "several thousand li in all directions 
of the compass." 


to the prefecture called **Oriens," and being under 
the jurisdiction of the proconsul residing at 
Antioch, was comprised in these descriptions. 
The territory of Fu-lin is stated to amount to 
10,000 li (K 3; L 8). This fact is in broad 
contradiction with the theory of Ta-ts*in being the 
Roman Empire, and Fu-lin being its continuation 
under the Byzantine emperors. For, if Ta-ts*in, 
as described during the period when Rome enjoyed 
its largest extent, contained 6,000 li, Fu-lin ought 
to have been given a much smaller territory, 
if it had really covered the Eastern or Byzantine 
Empire which, during the T*ang dynasty, had 
been curtailed by more than half the extent of the 
old empire. But Ta-ts4n was merely a province 
of Rome, and Fu-lin was the same province 
(Syria) under Arab rule. The 10,000 li mentioned 
in the T^ang-shu probably cover territory be- 
longing to Khalif rulers soon after the conquest, 
in the middle of the 7th century. The Tu-huan- 
hsing'Ching'Chi^ quoted by Ma Tuan-lin (Q 47), 
says that Fu-lin ** in all directions measures several 
thousand li," which brings it back to the size of 
old Ta-ts*in, and this account must be understood 
to refer to Fu-lin previous to the Arab conquest, 
as it is stated further on (Q 49) that ** they have 
constantly to provide against the Ta-shih (Arabs),'* 
and as the boundaries are there clearly defined 
as those of S)n"ia (Q 50). 

However, vague these statements may be, they 
tend to show that Chinese authors were not aware 


of the real size of the political territory of which 
the country they describe physically was merely 
a subdivision. On the other hand, there is no 
doubt that the power of Rome in its full extent 
must have prevailed on the informants of the 
Chinese to tell them that **this country is the 
largest west of the Ts^ung-ling" (P 55). 

According to the Hou-han-shu (E 3), Ta-ts*in 
contained over four hundred cities (cf. P 15 and 
Q 9). The Chtn-shu simply mentions that it is 
"covered with cities and other inhabited places" 
(F 3), and the Wet-shu says, "that human dwellings 
are scattered over it like stars" (18). Both the 
T^ang-shu (K 4 and L 9) copy the older records, 
and we must assume that the statements there 
made in this respect are all derived from the older 
source. Four hundred cities {urbes^ municipia) 
would have been a trifling number for the Roman 
empire, as ancient Italy is alone said to have con- 
tained 1,197 cities;* and "for whatsoever aera of 
antiquity the expression might be intended," Gib- 
bon adds, "there is not any reason to believe the 
country less populous in the age of the Antonines, 
than in that of Romulus." Gibbon further says: 
" Under the reign of the Caesars, the proper Asia 
alone [/.^., the countries under the proconsul of 
Antioch, or the territory of Ta-ts*in] contained five 
hundred populous cities, enriched with all the gifts 
of nature, and adorned with all the refinements 

1 Gibbon, Vol. I, ch. II. 


of art."* The five hundred cities of Asia proper 
may possibly have been the very same as those 
described in the Hou-han-shu by the words sm- 
pai yu ch^eng^ meaning "over four hundred cities." 
The populousness of S3rria must have been enor- 
mous during the middle ages, as, under the military 
government of the Mamelukes, the country was 
supposed to contain sixty thousand villages.* 

The records of the Han dynasty contain various 
remarks which show clearly that the informant of 
the Chinese, whether a Chinese or a foreigner, 
had himself travelled in the country. I am 
inclined to assume that the road from which he 
received his impression regarding the facilities 
for travelling in Ta-ts*in was the overland route 
through Mesopotamia from Ktesiphon to Zeugma. 
The description given of it in the Hou-han-shu 
(E 39), repeated in various later records (cf. P 32, 
Q 16, etc.), says that, ** although one is not alarmed 
by robbers, the road becomes unsafe by reason of 
fierce tigers and lions, who will attack passengers, 
and unless travelling be done in caravans of a 
hundred men or more, or under the protection 
of military equipment, one is liable to be 
devoured by those beasts." Beasts of prey 
are repeatedly alluded to; tigers and lions, 

1 Cf. Joseph., Wars of the Jems II, i6, 4 (transl. Whiston): "What 
is the case of five hundred cities of Asia ? Do they not submit to 
a single governor,' andg^ the consular bundle of rods?" 

s Gibbon, ibid. 


to Start with, in the passage just quoted. There 
was, further, the Ts'ung, the ferocious quadruped 
mentioned in the Hstn-t^ang-shu. It has the size 
of a dog,* is fierce and repulsive, and of great 
strength (L 39), and, according to Ma Tuan-lin's ver- 
sion, may be domesticated (Q 22). Bretschneider 
(Arabs^ etc., p. 24), referring to this animal, 
says: "Probably the hyaena, which is not found 
in Eastern Asia, and is, therefore, unknown to the 
Chinese:" perhaps rightly so, though it may be 
suggested that the jackal answers the Chinese 
description as well, and must have been quite as 

common in Syria. The Black Bear (3l^^) is 
another beast of prey mentioned as occurring in 
Ta-ts*in in the Wet-lio (P 49) and by Ma Tuan-lin 
(Q 2 1). None of these animals would have attacked 
a traveller on any of the roads of Italy during 
the time of the emperors; if existing at all in Italy, 
as some species of bears probably did, the latter 
had withdrawn long ago into the hills, where they 
continued to be the sport of imperial "venatores:" 
lions and tigers, however, which in Syria (Meso- 
potamia) forced travellers to go in caravans, were 
so much in demand in Rome, whither they were 

^ M V >8 S :^ ihl Idi etc. Bretschneider (Arabs and 
Arabian Colonies, p. 24) is not fortunate in translating: "In Fo-lin 
occurs a wild beast, Pin-ta, which is very strong and wild, and 
resembles a dog." The character Tsfung, which, it is true, occurs 
only once, i>., as the name of this animal, in Chinese literature, 
somewhat resembles the character )( /iff/ but the following ia, 
great, as the tertium comparationis is here dependent on fS^ju, and 
does not form part of the name. 


imported from the African and Oriental provinces 
for use in the imperial plays, as to render Italian 
roads quite clear of them. These were not infest- 
ed by beasts, but by robbers and outlaws,^ the 
very absence, of which scourge distinguished the 
caravan road described in the Hou-han-shu. 

We learn through the Hou-han-shu and other 
ancient records that the country of Ta-ts*in enjoy- 
ed the comfort of roads for travelling, and postal 
arrangements "like the Chinese" (P 28), and that 
postal routes existed between certain parts of the 
frontier and the capital; for, "when the embassies 
of neighbouring countries came to their frontier, 
they were driven by post to the capital" (E 31, 
etc.)* The means of conveyance probably consisted 
in carriages of various descriptions, one kind of 
which was provided with a wide canopy (E 11). 

The postal roads, it appears, were lined with 
postal stations, and with mile-stones of an orna- 
mental character, as they were covered with plaster 

(E 6). All these institutions would answer well 

-»■■' * . ' ..■■ 11 I »i 

1 Su Friedlaender, Sittengesch. J^opts, Vol. II (ed. 1874), p. 44 seqq. 
Pliny, Vin, 16 (17), 45) states distincUy that lions were found in 
Europe merely in certain parts of Northern Greece. "In Europa 
autem inter Acheloum tantum Mestnmque amnes leoties esse, sed 
longe yiribus praestantiores iis quos Africa aut Syria gignant." 
Pliny's "Syria" here no doubt refers to the Mesopotamian district, 
which, according to Strabo, was full of lions. See p. 187. 

> The feet here stated is quite in accordance with the spirit of 
Roman postal administration. The use of the posts was allowed to 
those who claimed it4»y an imperial mandate, and only exceptionally 
indulged to the business or convenience of private citizens (Gribbon). 


enough to the postal system of the Romans^ and 
may be applied to Italy as well as to any of 
the Roman provinces.^ But the Hou-han-shu 
contains some other details in connection with 
postal matters which, it seems to me, constitute a 
broad hint as to the oriental position of the country 
described. It is said there (E 38; cf. P 31, etc.) 
that '* every ten li of a road are marked by a t'ing 
(pavilion, pavilion-shaped mile-stone?), and every 
thirty li by a chih (resting-place) — or hou, [so 
called by Ma Tuan-lin (Q 15) and in the Chu-fan- 
chih (R 14)]." It appears to me that this remark 
describes in the fewest possible words the milliary 
system of the country. It shows that the unit 
for measuring roads (chih or hou) was divided 
into three smaller distances (t'ing), and into 30 
of a still smaller kind (li). I cannot discover 
any similarity between this and the Roman system.' 
The roads of Italy starting at the tnilltarium 
aureum erected by Augustus, were lined with 
lapides (milliary columns) at distances of 8 stadia^ 
corresponding to 1,000 paces, and there was no 
division into three or thirty. The only ancient 
mile which may be compared to that described 

* The well-known " royal road " from Sardes to Susa described by 
Herodotus (V, 52) was lined with "royal stations/' o-ra^/xol jSoo-tX^iOi, 
and excellent inns, KaraXvo-ics, all along, and the whole road was 
through an inhabited and safe country. 

* Visdelou (in d'Herbelot, BihL Or,, IV, p. 420) sa3rs: "les maisons 
b&ties d'un mille ou d'une lieue k Tautre, et ces postes de 3 en 3 
maisons, que sont-elles autre chose si-non ces pierres ou colonnes 
dress6es de mille en mille pas, et couriers dtablk d'un certain nombre 
de colonnes k Tautre ? " 


in the Hou-han-shu is the Asiatic mile, f.e., the 
Persian parasang. The parasang has been the 
principal road-measure throughout western Asia 
from the time of Herodotus till up to the present 
day. Herodotus himself (11, 6; V, 53; and VI, 42) 
distinctly states that the parasang is divided into 
thirty stadia. " Hesychius and Suidas give it the 
same length, and Xenophon must have calculated 
it at 30 stadia, as he says {Anab.^ H, i, § 6) that 
16,050 stadia are equal to 535 parasangs. The 
Arabic geographers {see Freytag, Lex. Arab.^ s. v. 
Farsakh) reckon it equal to three [Arabian] miles." * 
The readiness with which these measures may be 
compared, and the close relation in which Greek 
civilization stood with that of western Asia from the 
time of Alexander's campaigns, almost challenged 
a system corresponding to the one described in the 
Hou-han-shu, viz: — 

ichih or hou = i parasang. 

= 3 t^zn^^ or Arabian miles. 
= 30 lt\ or stadia. 

1 English Cyclopadia, s. v. Parasang. Cf. Doursther, Dictiannain 
Unwivsel des Poids et Mesures Anciens et ModemeSf Bruxelles 1840, s. vv. 
"Parasange: Egypte et S)nrie/' and "Mille: Arabic, antiquit6:" "le 
mille des Arabes 6tait le ^ de la parasange." The modern Farsang, 
the Agatsch of the Turks, is divided into 3 Berri. — " Parasang is a 
Persian word, and is derived from the ancient iarsang, which is 
pronounced in modern Persian, ferseng. It has been changed in 
Arabic into farsakh. Various etymologies of this word have been 
proposed. Its latter part is supposed to be the Persian seng, a stone, 
and the word might thus be derived from the stones which were 
placed to mark the distances in the road. Bohlen (quoted by RMiger) 
supposes the first part to be the preposition- ySrf a, and compares the 
word with the Latin ad lapidem" {Engi. CycL, I.e.) ' 


Several of my identifications have been based on 
the supposition Uiat die distances given in li by 
Chinese wnters must be understood to be stadia 
in the sense of western classical authors/ and 
/ I would recall to the reader the following state- 
• ments, occurring in Chinese records, which must be 
admitted by every student of ancient geography to 
compare most favourably in point of exactness 
with any similar statement occurring in the most 
trustworthy classical author: 

1. Antiochia Margiana {Mu-lu) 

to Hekatompylos {An-hst)^ 

passing the Hyrcanian hills. 5,000 /i or stadia. 

2. Hekatompylos {An-hsi) to 

Acbatana {A-man) ... 3,400 „ „ 

3. Acbatana {A-man) to Ktesi- 

phon ( Ssu'pin ), passing 

the Mount Zagros ranges . 3,600 „ „ 

4. Ktesiphon (Ssu-pm) to Hira 

{VH'/o) 960 „ „ 

^ The distances given in ancient itineraries are not to be taken as 
the crow flies, in a straight line, but we have to add in every case a 
certain percentage to make up for the meandering of a road and 
detours of all kinds. Ancient measures in this respect somewhat 
resemble the Chinese mode of reckoning distances (see C^na Rmem^ 
Vol II, p. 276 seq.). The Rev. G. Rawlinson remarks (in a note in his 
^edition of Herodotus,— quoted Engl. CycL, Lc), that the parasang, 
like the farsakh, was originally a measure of time, not of distance, 
and consequently varied according to the country passed over. It is, 
therefore, natural that "the tendency to ^cvf-estimate distances in 
travelling should be much more frequent than the contrary error." 
Su Bunbury, Ixt^ Vol. I, p. 359, seqq. 


5. Antioch (capital of Ta-ts*in) 

to the city of Lfl-fSn beyond 

the bridge of Zeugma . . 2,000 /^ or stadia. 

6. The caravan road from the 

place where it leaves the 
banks of the Euphrates to 
Palmjrra {ChHeh4an) . . 3,000 „ „ 

7. Palmyra (^ChHeh-lan) to 

Emesa [Ssu-fu) . • . . 600 „ „ 

8. The circumference of the 

city of Antioch (An-tu) . 100 „ „ 

The tenfold (E 28) and hundredfold (F 16)' 
profit the traders of Ta-ts4n made on their sea- 
borne commerce with India and China may be 
easily accounted for by the nature of the mer- 
chandise they carried to and fro. We may assume 
that the bulk of the exports from China to Ta-ts*in 
was silk ; and of this one pound is stated to have 
been considered equal in value to as much 
weight in gold.' This may be nothing more 

^ See note 3 on p. 165. 

9 Vita Aureliani, c. 45, in Scriptt. Hist, Aug,, quoted by Friedlaender 
U.f Vol. Ill (5th ed., 1881), p. 70. This Roman myth regarding the 
price of silk has its counterpart in ancient (yhina. The ShtuhwSn 
(8^ }I^), published in A.D. 100 (see Wylie^ p. 8), explains the character 
chin (ft)» an old name for the finest ornamental silk textures^ as 
being composed with the radical chin C^)* ue., gold, ''because its 
price was then equal to that of gold." (jKo-chih-ching-yUan, ch. 27, 
p. 4). Pliny (XXXIV, 14 (41), 145) speaks of iron and skins as articles 
imported by the Seres. " £x omnibus autem generibus/' he says with 
regard to the various kinds of iron found on the Roman market, " palma 


than a faQon de parler^ and have no definite sense 
at all; but, whatever the real price of silk has been, 
there can be no doubt that the statement referred 
to involves that heavy sums were spent in this 
commodity. According to Pliny (VI, 23 (26), loi, 
see note 3 oh p. 165), India alone drew out of the 
Roman Empire every year not less than 55 millions 
sesterces (=about j^6oo,ooo) ; and in another pas- 
sage (XII, 18 (41), 84) he says that, at the lowest 

Serico ferro est. Seres hoc cum vestibus suis pellibusque mittuntl^ 
Iron, as well as skins, were produced in abundance in the north €if 
China. The iron industry as well as the iron trade was since atideat 
times in the hands of the people of Liang (SDy which district 
comprised part of the present Shen-hsi, Hu-pei, Kan-su, and Ssfi-cfafuali 
(see Shih-chi, ch. 129, lieh-chuan 69, p. 17, in palace ed. d. d. 1739). 
The iron industry received the most careful attention at the bands 
of the Chinese governments from a very early period, as a stndy of 
Ma Tuan-lin's chapters 15 and 16, containing a history of the salt and 
iron monopolies in China, will show. Ma Tuan-lin gives the names 
of forty principalities {chUn), mostly in the northern districts, at which 
at the time of Wu-ti (B.C. no), inspectors of government iron works 
{fieh-kuan) were stationed. In another passage (ch. 20, p. 4) the same 
author has an opportunity to mention the principal articles of trade 
and the districts in which they were chiefly produced at the time of 
Chao-ti (B.C. 86-73). '^l^is list may give us an idea what goods could be 
drawn from the Chinese market, provided there was a demand for them 
in the west. The districts Lung ((ft) and Shu (S)^ (>., the present 
provinces of Kan-su, Shen-hsi and SsQ-ch'uan, were npted for cinnabar and 
woollen cloth (? ^ ^); Ching ( Jlj) and Yang (iff) in the present 
*Hu-pei and Chiang-su respectively, for skins (A) and hides (or leather, 
Sj^) besides ku-hsiang {% |^-bone and ivory ware?) ; Chiang-nan 
(tt |&) furnished certain kinds of wood and bamboo arrows; Yen (1(5) 
and Ch'i ( jl|f ) in the present Chih-li and Shan-tung: fish, salt, rugs 
and furs; the districts Yen (^Sg), Yfl (jR) and Ho (J^), U,, Shan- 
tung, Ho-nan and Kan-su (?), varnish, silk, hemp or grass-cloth. 
This shows that silk, the foreign demand for which is now supplied 
from districts in the neighbourhood of Canton and Shanghai, was then 
chiefly produced in the north-west of China, and that skins and hides 
(Pliny's /^//^5) were also near at hand in Hu-pei. 



calculation, lOO millions sesterces (=about a million 
£ sterling) were taken away from the empire 
annually by India, China and Arabia j(^* minima 
computatione milieus centena milia sestertium 
annis omnibus India et Seres et paeninsula ilia 
[Arabia] imperio nostro adimunt"), (Both these 
amounts (j^6oo,ooo and ;^i, 000,000) would be 
trifling, indeed, if they really represented the 
whole value of the trade with the countries named; 
and if silk was really paid with its weight in gold, 
the quantity imported, according to this estimate, 
must have been very insignificant. Several 
attempts have been made to remove the difliculty 
contained in these two passages. Hock {Rom. 
Gesch, I, 2, 288, quoted by Friedlaender, ^. c. 
Vol. Ill, p. 68, note 3) represents the sums 
mentioned as applying to the importation into the 
city of Rome, and not into the Roman Empire; 
but Friedlaender seems to be right in rejecting 
this as well as Marquardt's proposal who {Rom. 
Staatsverwaltung^ II, 266) assumes that a hundred 
million sesterces for pearls imported from India 
were not included in the estimate of Indian trade. 
As I understand Pliny's words, he does not mean 
to give the total value of the trade with these 
countries at all ; he merely says : ** the trade with 
India, etc., costs us so much annually," i.e.^ so 
much money in addition to the goods exported 
from the Roman Empire; for, thus we have to 
interpret the words exhauriente and adimunt in 
the two passages respectively. In other words, the 
author wishes to say that the balance of trade is 


in favour of India, China, and Arabia. I look 
at Pliny's computation as an indirect proof that 
a considerable portion of the goods received from 
China was paid for in kind. And which, we may 
now ask, were the articles given to the Chinese in 
exchange ? The reply may be gathered from the 
list of Ta-ts*in products: glass, carpets, rugs, 
embroideries, and other piece goods, and the 
precious stones a merchant could take away from 
Sjnria and those he could pick up en route^ in 
addition to a few drugs and fragrant woods. 

Enormous profit must have been made on the 
importation into China of small vessels, such as 
cups and bottles, and beads, of coloured glass. We 
learn from the Wei-lio (P 49^^) that ten kinds of 
glass were produced in Ta-ts4n. The colours 
were: carnation, white, black, green, yellow, blue 
or green, purple, azure, red, and red-brown.* . 

Glass is, in the passage referred to, called liu-li 
(5S[3^), whereas in other places it is called po-li (^ 
3^, M ^> ®t^0 From what I learn in dealing with 
vendors of curiosities in China, it appears that the 
diflference between the two substances is this: po-li 

1 Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist, XXXVI, 26 (65), 191 seqq. It is stated in 
the Yuan-chung'Chi (iC ^ tB); quoted in the Yilan'Ckim-lei'han, 
ch. 364, p. 41, that red glass was the most valuable kind produced in 
Ta-ts'in, and the articles of tribute offered by the embassy of A.D. 643 
contained red glass (K 34; L 41; Q 66). According to Pliny, the 
dearest quality was the uncoloured, transparent glass. The red kind 
referred to in the Chinese authors may have been an imitation 
murrhine. Cf. A. Nesbitt, "Glass" in Maskell's South Kensingtm 
Mt^mm Art Handbooks, London, 1878, p. 22. 


is transparent, liu-li is opaque. The latter substance 
is also vulgarly called liao (3(9^), whence liao-ch*i 
{3(^^) is the name for '* glass-ware" in the Customs 
TariflF. It appears to me that Pfizmaier ("BeitrSge 
zur Geschichte der Edelsteine und des Goldes"*' in 
Sttzungsber. d. phil-hist CI. der Kais. Akad. 
d. Wtssensch., Wien, March 1868, Vol. LVIII, 
p. 199) has not been fortunate in translating 
liu-li by rock crystal (Bergkrystall), and that 
Geerts, on pp. 471 and 475 in Vol. II of his 
work Les produits de la Nature J^aponaise et 
Chtnoise^ is misguided by his Japanese authorities 
in translating liu-li (riu-ri) by Lapis lazuli, and 
po-li (ha-ri) by "Gemme Vitreuse Bouddhique." 
The Chinese were accustomed to consider both 
kinds of glass as precious stones and to place them 
on a level with the other gems constituting the 

"Seven Pao" (4i Sf) ^^ Buddhistic lore, as long as 
they were ignorant of the real nature of these 
articles ; but since they learned to produce them in 
their own country, the meaning of these terms as 
applied to reality was ** glass," whatever their use 
may have been in a historical or poetical sense. 
Metaphorically, liu-li may come to be the 
name of substances similar to opaque glass in 
respect of transparency. General Mesny informs 
me that in some parts of Kuei-chou sheets of semi- 
transparent horn used for lamp and lantern shades 
are called liu-li ; the same name is also given to the 

glazing of porcelain and earthen-ware, in which 

sense the General says it is a synon)an of yu-li 


(iA ^ 0. The origin of the name liu-li, it appears 
to me, has to be looked for in the languages of 
Central Asia. The ' Kuang-ya^ quoted in the 
Han-shu hsuyil-chuan pu-chu (]^ ^^ iSk^ 
f$^), ue.y "Supplementary Comments on the Re- 
cord of Western Countries in the ChHen-han-shul' 
by Hsti Sung-hsiao (^ i^ ^), a Secretary of the 
Grand Secretariat under Tao-kuang (?), says that 

the original name for liu-li was pi-liu-li (^ |^ f|f|) 
or fei-liu-li {^^ JS 3^). The former is mentioned 
in the account of Chi-pin (]^ 9 S) contained in 
the Hsi-yii-chuan of the ChHen-han-shu^ and has 
been wrongly interpreted as meaning two different 
substances (pi, a kind of jadestone, and liu-li). The 
syllables pi-liu-li or fei-liu li, the old sound of 
which may have been heloli^ are explained ?isfan- 
ytn (^ ia*), which term is not necessarily confined 
to Sanskrit sounds. Pending a better sugges- 
tion from somebody else, I would refer this 
term to the word belor or boloTy meanmg glass 
or crystal in several central Asiatic languages. 
Possibly even po-li, the name for transparent glass, 
probably of later origin, but occurring as early as 
A.D. 643, as the passages K 43 and L 41 may 
prove, has to be referred to this root. There is 
certainly no connection between this word and the 
Portuguese vidro as Williams suggests (Syllah. 
Dicty p. 704), the Portuguese having come to 
China at a much more recent period. 

According to the Pei-shih (zflJ^) it was during 
the time of T 'ai-wu of the northern Wei d5aiasty 


(A.D. 424-452) that traders came to the capital of 
Wei from the country of Ta-yfleh-chih (^ J^ ffi). 
bordering on the north-west of India ^ who said 
that, by fusing certain minerals, they could make 
all colours of liu-li. They then gathered and 
digged in the hills, and fused the minerals at the 
capital (near the present Ta-t'ung-fu in Shan-hsi). 
When ready, the material so obtained was of even 
greater brilliancy than the liu-li imported from the 
west. The Pei-shih specially states that, after this 
event, articles made of glass became considerably 
cheaper in China than they had been before. Grosier 
{^Description de la Chine^ edition of 1787, Vol. II, 
p. 464) quotes the "grandes annales" (meaning, 
I presume, the Sung-shu)^ according to which 
"le Roi de Ta-tsin envoya k TEmpereur Tai-tsou, 
des presents trfes-consid^rables en verres de toutes 
les couleurs, et quelques ann^es aprfes, un verrier 
qui avait Tart de changer au feu des cailloux en 
cristal, et qui en , apprit le secret i des disciples ; 
ce qui acquit beaucoup de gloire i ceux qui 6taient 
venus et qui viennent de TOccident." T*ai-tsu 
was the name commonly used in the earlier Sung 
annals for the Emperor W6n-ti of the Sung 
(A.D. 424 to 454), the contemporary and rival of 
T'ai-wu, under whose reign the art of making 
glass was said to have been introduced from Ta- 
3riieh-chih, or from India. We have, therefore, to 

I According to the Wei-shu, quoted in the Yuan-chien-Ui'han, 
ch. 364, p. 31, they came from India (^Pc^B). Cf. Pliny, /. e., § 193. 

■ If 

"Auctores sunt in India ex crystallo fracta fieri et ob id nullum 
[sc. vitrum] comparari Indico." 


deal with a two-fold tradition as regards the intro- 
duction of glass-making in China, each of the two 
rival dynasties (Sung and Wei) claiming to itself 
the honour of having introduced the art. We are 
thus, it is true, left in doubt as to whether Syrian 
or Indian artisans helped to establish the first 
factory ; but the very discrepancy existing in the 
tradition as regards the origin, strengthens my 
belief in the correctness of the date, of its intro- 
duction, as the reign of the two monarchs referred 
to fell within very nearly the same period, dating 
from A.D. 424. 

fc\ is obvious that merchants as shrewd as the 
ans, the successors in the history of commerce 
to the ancient Phoenicians, made the most of this 
article which, produced on the coast near Sidon 
from minerals near at hand, was brought with 
little trouble overland to Aelana for shipment to 
the Persian Gulf, connecting with the ancient 
overland route through Parthia, or later on to 
Ceylon for transhipment to Chinese or Annamese 
junks. From all we may conclude from the 
passages, regarding glass and glass-ware, handed 
down in ancient Chinese authors, and collected by 
the compilers of the various cyclopaedias {let-shu\ 
both liu-li and po-li were considered most precious 
substances previous to their being manufactured in 
China, t.e.y before A.D. 424^ The Cheng- lei-pin- 

ts^ao (Hf ^ 5fC ^) ch. 3) probably repeats words 
originally written previous to that date, in saying 
that "glass (po-li) is hst-kuo chih pau yeh ( 


^ifc)) ^^^ precious stone of western countries." 
Ancient Chinese folk-lore considers that ice, when 
a thousand years old, turns into glass, ^ and the 
botanical work just quoted says that it ought to be 
classed with jadestone. The poet Li T'ai-po 
(quoted in Ko-chih-ching-yuan^ ch. 51, p. 7), who 
wrote during the 7th century, speaks of the fairy 
lady T*ai-ch6n (.see Mayers, Manual^ p. 212), who 
poured grape wine into cups of ** glass and the 
seven precious substances'* (gold, emerald, jade, 
etc.),'* which seems to show that the first-named 
material was held in no light estimation. A 
modern poet would certainly not be allowed to let a 
fairy lady touch any but a gold, silver, jade, or crys- 
tal cup. During the Ta-ts4n period that peculiar 
fancy for objets de vertu which, in Chinese life, has 
at all times taken the place of other luxuries, was 
not yet absorbed by the porcelain industry, which 
probably did not begin to assume larger dimensions 
previous to the T*ang dynasty. Clumsy copper 
censers and other sacrificial implements, imitating 
the then archaic style of the Chou dynasty, mono- 

» Or crystal. See Yuan-chien-kihan, ch. 364, pp. 36 and 41, and 
the Ko-ku-lun (fjf "^m)- quoted in Ko-cJiih-chifig-yi'mn, ch. 33, p. ii: 
-^^^Cfl^^TfCmr. This (>hinese popular beliel' regarding the 
origin of crystal may possibly have been imported from the west 
together with the article itself. Pliny, at least, entertains a similar 
jprejudice, in saying (XXXVII, 2 (9), 23): Contraria huic causa 
crystallum fecit, gelu vehementiore concreto. non aliubi certe reperi- 
tur quam ubi maxime hibernae nives rigent, glaciemque esse certum 
est, unde nomen Grseci dedere. 

3 Regarding the " Seven Pao" (42 J(), see Geerts, /. c, Vol. II, 
p. 468. 


polised the attention of the rich together with the 

so-called precious materials (^4to,/ao-«^i^; gold, 
silver, jade and other precious stones, ivory, pearls, 
tortoise-shell, etc.). A large portion of the latter 
came from Ta-ts'in, and glass is in all the older 
records mentioned amongst them; whereas, e. g.^ the 
Cheng' lei-pin-ts^ao^ published A.D. 1108, classes 

it under ** minerals of the first class (3S S'fljJ JI1& 
yil'Shih'pu^ shang-pHrC)^' the Pin-ts^ao-kang-mu^ 

half a century later, even under ** metals" (j^ chin). 
This shows the gradual depreciation of a formerly 
very valuable article. It is most probable that 
small implements such as beads, cups, bottles, 
vases, etc., made of coloured glass fetched much 
better prices in China than in Rome, and that this 
trade was particularly profitable to the Syrians, 
who were perhaps less upright in their dealings 
than their reputation amongst the Chinese (E 21) 
seemed to indicate. 


As to precious stones in general, glowing accounts 
01 th^ir marvellous abundance in Syria were ap- 
parently circulated in China as well as they were 
circulated and believed in the west. Numerous 
passages show that Ta-ts^in was considered the 
country where everything nice and valuable in the 
way of jewelry and mineral curiosities was to be 
had.^ It has to be considered that Syria was 
specially well situated as a market for the districts 

1 See the passages D 33 ; £ 26 ; F 14 ; G 3 ; H 3 ; I so ; K 31 and 

32 ; etc. 


then known to produce real precious stones. 
Sjrria occupied a central position amongst the 
principal producing districts in Asia Minor, Cyprus, 
Eg)rpt, Armenia, Media, etc., and possessed from 
remote antiquity all the facilities for monopolising 
the trade in emeralds, rubies, opals, sapphires, 
carbuncles, jaspers, lapis lazuli, sards, agates, 
topas, etc; and the city of Alexandria which, 
under the Romans, had inherited the commercial 
grandeur of the Phoenicians and Syrians, had 
become the chief factory for all the industries 
connected with the cutting and polishing of 
precious stones. Wm. Jones {History and 
Mystery of Precious Stones^ London, 1880, p. 346 
seq.) justly remarks of ancient Sjrriaj) ** Seldom 
are toys and jewels mentioned by Homer, but 

with this additional circumstance, that they were 
either of Sidonian workmanship or imported 
in a Phoenician ship." The same author (/. c, 
p. 165) says: **The treasures contained in the 
ancient Syrian temples were immense, ivory and 
precious stones included. That of Astarte, at 
Hierapolis, abounded with gold and jewels, pre- 
cious stones of all colours, sardonyx, hyacinth, 
emerald, brought from Egypt, Ethiopia, India, 
Media, Armenia and Babylonia. On the brow of 
the goddess shone a marvellous carbuncle. Lucul- 
lus took from Armenia magnificent gemmed vases 
which filled a car drawn by camels, etc." The 
fact cannot be doubted that, whatever show the 
Roman Emperors made of pearis and precious 
stones, their luxury was chiefly made up from the 


plunder of their Asiatic provinces, ^ones (/. c, 
p. 350) speaks of things seen in Syria 'rather than 
in Italy when he says: **At the beginning of the 
third century the extravagant luxury of the Romans 
was at its culminating point. An example was set 
by the monster Elagabalus/ who styled himself a 
priest of the sun. His apparel was costly in the 
extreme. He never wore a garment twice; his 
shoes were decorated with pearls and diamonds ; 
his bed was covered with gold and purple, 
decorated with costly jewels. The path on which 
he walked was strewed with gold and silver pow- 
der,^ and all the vessels in his palace were of gold^ 
The splendour of the sun-worship at Emesa, under 
the name of the voluptuous emperor, was almost in- 
credible; the black stone which it was believed had 
fallen from heaven on the site of the tenaple set in 
precious gems, was placed on a chariot drawn by 
six milk-white horses richly caparisoned." Till late 
in the middle ages Syria enjoyed the reputation of 
being an inexhaustible source of precious stones, as, 
in spite of the thorough plundering of the Romans, 
there was so much left for the crusaders who, 
generally, did not return from their adventures 
amongst the infidels without a good load of port- 
able property. Wm. Jones (/. c, p. 356) says: 

^ Of Syrian extraction. He spent part of his life in Emesa, the 
seat of his family. 

2 Possibly the lu-chin-ching offered to the Court of China in 
A.D. 643 {see K 34; L 41; and Q 66^ was "gold-powder," like the one- 
mentioned above, which need not necessarily be real gold-dust. 

8 Cf. R 19. 


'*The amount of precious stones, spoils of the 
Crusades, was enormous. The immense wealth of 
King Tancred is stated by an old German historian 
quoted by Scheidius, to have been almost fabulous. 
When, after his death, the Emperor Henry entered 
the palace, he found the chairs and tables made of 
pure gold, besides one hundred and fifty mules' 
loads of gold, silver, and precious stones," and 
(p, 339) '* Henry the Lion, who went on a pilgrimage 
to the Holy Land in 1172^ returned with an 
enormous amount of riches, especially in jewels.*' 

These camels' and mules' loads of precious stones 
show that Sjrria was even then credited with being 
a very rich country indeed. (^I cannot help feeling 
some^surhat sceptical at these accounts. The ancient 
world was very credulous, and the. suspicion may 
be justified that much of the gold was gilt copper, 
and that many of the jewels were coloured glass. 
The HoU'han-shu account of Ta-its!in winds up by 
giving utterance to this suspicion in saying (E 41): 
** The articles made of * rare precious stones ' 
produced in this country are sham curiosities and 
mostly not genuine." Pliny (XXXVH, 7 (26), 98)^ 
speaking of carbuncles, says r) " adulterantur vitro 
simillime, sed cote depreh'enduntur, sicut alise 
gemmae, etc." ^This clearly shows that glass 
imitations, though easily discovejred by the con- 
noisseur, were commonly made, and it seems 
natural that, in a country where the glass industry 
was quite unknown, as it must have been in China 
up t6 about the year A.D. 424, such spurious 


articles could fetch prices far beyond their real 
value. ; 

It is for this reason that the alleged profuse 
employment of crystal for certain architectural 
purposes finds an easy explanation. The Hou- 
han-shu (E 15; cf, P 39 and Q 4) states that 
''crystal is used in making pillars in the palace 
buildings." According to the Chin-shu (F 6), 
crystal is merely used in making the pedestals of 
pillars, whereas walls are adorned with opaque 
glass. The ChiU't^ang-shu (K 6) adds to the pillars, 
"the eaves and window-bars;" and the Hsin- 
t^ang'Shu (L 19), "the king-posts of their roofs," 
as parts of palaces adorned with either rock-crystal 

or glass. The Wu-wai-kuo-chuan (^ ^ Q jQl), 
quoted in the Ko'chih-ching-yuan (ch. 20, p. 26) 
states that, even "the tiles of the royal palace in 
Ta-ts'in were made of crystal." Bretschneider 
{^Chinese Recorder^ Vol. Ill, p. 30) says: "It is 
clear that the columns of rock-crystal are a Chinese 
exaggeration." I have several reasons for not 
joining in this opinion. I do not, in the first 
instance, consider that the wording of the passage 
Mr. Bretschneider had before him {Hou-han-shu 
E 15), which had been so sadly misunderstood by 
de Quignes {ste Introduction, p. 28), necessarily 
involves that pillars were made out of solid 
rock-crystal; for, even the very literal translation 
it la Julien merely says that, " i [employing] 
shuuching [crystal] wet [they make] chu [pillars]," 
f.e., that crystal is one of the materials employed 


in miaking pillars. I presume that pieces of 
rock-crystal were, like other precious stones, 
merely fastened on the outer surface of pillars 
as they were fastened on the surface of walls 
and other parts of palatial residences. Rock- 
crystal must have been more common in Syria 
than in other coitntries, as it was one of the 
local products of the neighbourhood.* I have 
quite recently read an account of the natural 
resources of the modern province of Aleppo, in 
which it is stated that rock-crystal is found in 
the district of Harim. The list of products 
of the Wei'h'o (P 49^) contains rock-crystal 
as a separate article, and the country probably 
produced sufficient quantities of it to allow of its 
being used as ah ornament in the manner indicated, 
ue.j so that pillars were not made entirely out of 
crystal and that their surfaces were hut partly 
covered with it. It is still more likely, however, 
that both the crystal and the precious stones 
employed were in reality glass imitations. Glass 
and crystal are frequently confounded by Chinese 
authors. The Po-wu-yao-lan ( IS 4^ IS % )' 
quoted in the Ko-chih-ching-yuan (ch. 33, p. 11), 
says: "no hot soup or boiling water should be 
poured into a vessel made of shui-ching (rock^ 
crystal), lest it will burst as if it were smashed 
to pieces;" and the Ko-ku-yau-lun (l^'i'Scift) 

- ■ I I ' I f,M 

» See Pliny, XXXVII, 2 (9), 23, who mentions Orthosia (in 
Syria), Alabanda (in (^ria), Cyprus, and an island in the Red Sea, as 
places where crystal was found. 



{ibid.) speaks of ** imitation shui-cking made by 

burning drugs " (IS * & ffl * « J^ #)• The 

shui'Ching in both cases seems to have been 
nothing better than glass. 

The reason which led Mr. Bretschneider to 
declare the crystal pillars of Ta-ts*in a Chinese exag- 
geration, was probably this, that, in ancient Rome- 
he considered them more or less out of place.^ 
The practice of using gems and precious stones, 
whether real or made of glass, was originally a local 
feature of ancient Syria. I qiiote from Heeren's 
Historical Researches (Vol. I, Asiatic Nations: 
Phoenicians. English ed. of 1846, p. 345): **From 
the small number of glass houses, the use of glass 
would" seem to have been much less general in 
antiquity than amongst us. While the mildness of 
the climate in all southern countries, as well as all 
over the east, rendered any other stoppage of the 
windows uitoecessary, except that of curtains or 
blinds, goblets of the precious metals or stones 
were preferred as drinking-vessels. This, however, 
seems in some measure to have been made up for 
bv the early introduction of a sinoular kind of 
luxnrv in tlie siatelv edifices of these countries, 
that of covering the ceilings and walls of the 
apartments with glass. The various significations, 

1 To see glass mosaic work employed in vaults was a novelty 
in Rome at Pliny's time (Plin., XXXVI, 25 (64), 189); later on 
ornaments of glass and precious stones were as common a luxury 
there as they were in the Orient. Friedlaender, Lc.y Vol. Ill, 5th ed., 
1881, p. 85 seqq. 


however, in which the Greek vaXo9 is made use of, 
and which properly means any transparent material, 
as crystal, various kinds of stones, and the like, 
render it impossible to determine with certainty 
whether glass itself or some other transparent 
Substance is spoken of/' 

As regards the different kinds of gems and 
precious stones specified in Chinese records, it is 
not in all cases possible to determine what they 
really were. Some of them are sufficiently well 
known nowadays to pronounce their identity, 
while the names of others are not in use now, but 
have to be identified by means of the information 
collected in works like the T^ai-pHng-yu-lariy the 
YUan-chien-let-han^ the Ko'Chih-chHng-yuan^ and 
others. Professor Pfizmaier of Vienna has pub- 
lished, amongst the papers of the Austrian Academy 
of Sciences, translations regarding the subject, from 
the first-named Cyclopaedia, viz., ^^Beitrdge zur 
Geschichte der Edehteine und des Goldes^^ (1868), 
and ^^Beitrdge zur Geschichte der Perlen^^ (1868). 
It is to be regretted that the author of these 
otherwise valuable papers has chosen to translate 
the names of Chinese works quoted in a manner 
which renders it difficult even to sinologues to 
identify them without comparing the German ver- 
sion with the Chinese text. Who would recognise 
the Hsuching'tsa-cht (® ^ ^ IB) under the title 
"Vermischte Erzahlungen von der Mutterstadt 
des Westens," or the Shih-i-cht {^^f^) under 
that of "Die Geschichte des Auflesens des Hinter- 


lassenen?" I would here refer readers who take 
interest in the gem question to the two volumes 
published of the late Mr. A. J. C. Geerts' work, 
^^Les Produits de la Nature yaponaise et Chinoise^ 
etc." (Yokohama, 1878 and 1883), the author of 
which has combined the literary point of view, by 
translating some of the Chinese and Japanese data 
regarding each article, with that of the practical 

Amongst the stones mentioned here and there 
in the various records, the Yeh-kuang-pi^ or '* jewel 
that shines at night," has apparently more than all 
others taken possession of the imagination of the 
Chinese, as it is mentioned in all the principal 
records. I am not, from my own experience, able 
to decide whether any and what stones do really 
shine at night; but this, it seems to me, is less 
important than the question: what ideas did the 
ancient world entertain with regard to shining 
stones? For, the Chinese belief in the existence 
of such curiosities may have just as well originated 
from the reports regarding the wonders believed to 
exist in Ta-ts4n as from their having been actually 
seen by Chinese observers in China or abroad. 

The River Sangarius, in Asia Minor, according 
to Plutarch, produced a gem called Aster, which is 
luminous in ithe dark and called by the Phrygians 
"Ballen," ''the king." Streeter {Precious Stones 
and Gems^ London, 1877, p. 173) refers this to 
the gems known under the name of star-stones 
or Asteria. ''When light shines upon these 
stones," this author says, "stars of six rays are seen^ 


an appearance which attracts much attention, etc/' 
'* These star-stones, according to their colour, are 
designated Star Ruby, Star Sapphire, or Star 
Topaz." If these stones give oJ0f rays merely when 
light shines upon them^ as seems to be the case 
from the passage just quoted, Plutarch's Aster 
has perhaps merely lent its name, but not its chief 
quality, that of shining in the dark, to the modern 
Asteria. Possibly the Chinese name '^jewel that 
shines at night " is an allusion to the ancient name 
carbuncuJus^ {z.e.y the ^'little coal"), corresponding 
to the Greek ai^Opa^ (=coal), the name given to 
the garnet, one of the favourite stones of ancient 
luxury, owing to its brillancy which, as in the Greek 
and Latin names, may have been exaggerated into 
luminousness. The shining stone par excellence^ 
however, seems to be the Chlorophane (in German 
Pyrosmaragd), an emerald possessing the power of 
reflecting after dark the rays received from the 
sun during the day time. If the text of Herodotus, 
II, 44, has been handed down correctly, a temple 
in Tyre, in Phoenicia, dedicated to Hercules, con- 
tained **two pillars, one of fine gold, the other of 
emerald stone [a/uLapaySo^)^ both shining exceed- 
ingly at night;" and Pliny (XXXVII, 5 (17), 66) 
tells us the w;onderful tale of the sepulchre of 
King Hermias, in the island of Cyprus, on which 
is a lion formed of marble, but with eyes of 
emeralds, which shone so brightly on the surround- 

* Yeh'tning-chu (iS ^ JJS) is the usual name for "carbuncle," 
according to Bridgman, Chrestomathy , p. 503. Cf. Giles, Record of the 
Buddhistic Kingdoms, p. 92, note 8. 


ing sea that the tunny fish were frightened away; 
the fishermen, having long observed this pheno- 
menon, resolved to remove this disadvantage, and 
so have replaced the emeralds by other stones 
which have not this property of sparkling bright- 
ness. Ordinary emeralds could certainly be 
obtained in Syria from the rocks near the city of 
Koptos (see Pliny, /. c); but there seems to be no 
passage proving whether and where "luminous" 
emeralds were found. So much seems certain that, 
if not in reality, at least according to the local 
folk-lore (in Phrygia according to Plutarch, in 
Tyxe according to Herodotus, and in Cyprus 
according to Pliny) luminous gems were quite 
at home in the Levant. 

I shall leave it to the hands of scholars possessing 
a better knowledge than I possess of precious 
stones and pearls, to deal with this question, and I 
have no doubt that a connoisseur of these articles 
who is thoroughly acquainted with their history in 
the Syrian or Alexandrian market, may, after some 
research in the Chinese cyclopaedias in connection 
with enquiries made in native curiosity shops, 
throw considerable light on the question. 

fin attempting to prove the existence in ancient 
Syria of certain articles mentioned in the Chinese 
records as "coming from" ({i{) Ta-ts'in, we need 
not necessarily assume that these were produced 
on the spot. It is well known that Phoenician 
merchants, previous to the rise of Alexandria, mono- 
polised the trade in g-o/d and silver. Amber ^ though 


imported from the coast of the Baltic, if not 
from Sicily,^ could perhaps be found in greater 
quantities in the magazines of Syrian merchants, 
whose ancestors had imported this article for 
centuries, than even in the producing districts 
themselves. Probably the greater part of the gems 
brought to China **from Ta-ts4n'* were not the 
immediate produce of the country, but were pro- 
cured from the gem cutting and polishing factories 
of Alexandria, whither they had been brought 
from all parts of the western world. ) 

1 See O. Schneider, "Zur Bernsteinfrage" in ** Naturmssenschaftl, 
Beiirdge zur Geogr, u. Kulturgesch,, Dresden, 1883, p. 177 seqq. Fras^, 
"Drei MonaU itn Libanon" (Stuttgart, 1876), p. 94, comments on the 
frequency of amber in the neighbourhood of Sidon. This author 
considers that we are going too far in assuming the Phoenicians to 
have sailed to the Baltic for cargoes of amber. " Die kunsterfahrenen 
sidonischen Manner, welche die Halsketten von Bernstein den 
Frauen der Helden vor Troja brachten, werden wohl nicht erst durch 
die " Quellen des Okeanus " hindurch-zu den mitternachtlichen Kim- 
meriern ge&hren sein, um dort Steine zu holen, die sie vor den Thoren 
von Sidon haben konnten." Though there is apparently much force 
in this argument, the many proofs we possess of the existence of 
Roman enterprise in the amber trade across the European continent 
to the coast of the Baltic at a later period cannot be easily denied. 
See Friedlaender, /. c, Vol. II, p. 63. Foreign amber may be assumed 
to have first come to China through Central Asia as Klaproth's deriva- 
tion of the Chinese term hu-p*o (in Cantonese: fu-p*aky in the Amoy 
dialect: hu-p'ek) from Uiguric chuhich (see "Sprache u. Schrift der 
Uiguren," in Appendix to VerzeichnisSf etc., p. 22) seems to indicate. 
Klaproth's list ofBokharic words (Asia PofygL, p. 252) contains the 
word Keherdai for amber, which looks as if it could be related to either 
the Chinese or the Uiguric root. According to Pliny (XXXVII, 2 
(II)* 37) a spindle-whirl (verticillus) made of amber, was called harpax 
in Syria, "quia folia paleasque et vestium fimbrias rapiat." Could 
there be any connection between this Greek root harpag and the 
Asiatic names iekeriai, chubkh and hu-p'ekf 


Corals were apparently fished for in the Red 
SeV during the time of the T*ang dynasty; so we 
may judge from the account L 37 in the Hsin- 
t^ang'Shu. The sea called **Coral Sea" in the 
Nestorian stone inscription (Mi) and "the sea 
which produces corals and real pearls " according 
to the Wei'lio (P 68) are apparently identical with 
the Red Sea./ An account resembling the one 
contained in the Hsin-t^ang-shu is quoted from 
the HoU'Wei-shu ( ^ Uft ^ ) in the Yuan chien- 
lei'han ch. 238, p. 20. The coral fisheries are 
there stated to be hsi-nan-chang-hai chung (|9 ^ 

SI y$ •1'j ^'-^M **in the south-western gulf (?) sea") 
at a distance of about 700 or 800 li (cf. Ma 
Tuan-lin*s version, Q 29). 800 Chinese li on the 
open sea may correspond to about 260 miles/ 
which distance, if calculated from the port of 
Aelana, would carry us to the neighbourhood of 
Koseir or the ancient Leukos. (The best corals of 
antiquity, it is true, came from the Mediterranean; 
but the Red Sea did not stand back, though its 
produce may have been of a diflferent colour. 
Pliny (XXXII, 2 (11), 21), speaking of the coral, 
says : ** gignitur et in Rubro quidem mari, sed 
nigrius, item in Persico-vocatur lace - laudatissimum 
in Gallico sinu circa Stoechadas insulas et in 
Siculo circa Aeolias ac Drepana;" and, to quote 

1 The distance would be somewhat short if reckoned in stadia. 
However, the original statement may have been given in so many 
days' sailing, and afterwards been converted into real Chinese li, about 
three of which make a nautical mile. 


quite a modern authority, Klunzinger/ speaking 
of the neighbourhood of Koseir, says: **Der ganze 
nordliche Theil des Rothen Meeres ist mit einem 
der Kiiste parallelen Korallriff gerandert, das 
sich bald als Saumriflf, bald als^ (durch eine Lagune 
vom Land getrenntes) WallriflF darstellt." 

y As to Pearls^ the occurrence of which in the 
Red Sea is insinuated in the Wei-lio (P 68), 
it is well known that Pearls and Mother-of-pearl 
are now important articles of trade at Suakim, Mas- 
sowa, Djeddah and Hodeida; and Koseir, the port 
just mentioned in connection with corals, is 
stated to be a market for pearls also.V But, what 
I have said of gems may be said of this article 
and of all other goods of intrinsic value: it is 
not necessary to assume that the "curiosities 
and rare precious stones " said to have come, 
from Ta-ts*in were actually produced in the 
country; it is sufficient to know that Ta-ts4n 
merchants commanded the market. 

The articles of trade next in importance to gems, 
pearls, etc., were the textile fabrics produced in 
the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. The 
list of piece-goods furnished by the Wei-lio alone 
contains eighteen varieties. Some of these are 

1 Zeiischr. d. Ges, f. Erdkunde, Vol. XIV, Berlin, 1879 : C. B. 
Klunzinger, "Die Umgegend von Qoseir am Rothen Meere,*' p. 411. 

3 See C. Kallenberg, "Der Handel mit Perlen und Perlmutter- 
schalen im Rothen Meere" in Oesterr, Monatsschr. /, d. Orient^ 
March 1884, p. 86. 


Stated to occur in five colours (P 49 J7*, kk^ yy and 
bbb)^ whereas one variety is stated to occur in nine 
colours (F 4()//). I read in an older edition of 
Pierer's Universal Lexikon (Altenburg, i86i)i. «f. 
"Purpur/' that "of simple purple the ancient 
worid knew nine colours, and of mixed purple, 
five.'** I have not hesitated, therefore, to trans- 
late the expression wu-si (i '^), which, under 
ordinary circumstances, means " of all colours, of 
all descriptions,*' literally, as in opposition to 

chiu'Si (JU ^)j "nine colours." 

The various names of piece-goods mentioned in 
the Wei'lio list are partly descriptive, partly 
phonetic. Such names at least which do not seem 
to convey any definite meaning in Chinese, e.g.,, 
"Fa-lu" cloth, "0-lo-t6," "Pa-ts6" and "To-tai" 
cloth, may be assumed to be Chinese corruptions 
of foreign sounds. I cannot discover from my 
classical recollections, any similarity between any 
of these sounds and any Greek or Latin words 
denoting classes of piece-goods; but further re- 
search may possibly lead to the discovery that 
some of these names are derived from some other 
ancient language of western Asia, say Persian or 
Syriac, if not from Greek or Latin. The Chinese 
language is full of foreign words denoting technical 
objects introduced from abroad, and the names 

1 "Welches die eigentliche Purpurfarbe der Alten gewesen sei, 
lasst sich schwer sagen, da die Alten selbst neun Arten einfiichen u. 
fdnf gemischten Purpurs kannten." I regret not being able^ at the 
present time, to quote any more immediate authority than this German 
Cyclopaedia, which is generally well-informed on classical topics. 


for the principal piece-goods now on the market 

are foreign. Thus, to-lo-ni ( i^ Si Q^ )} ^^w 
signifying "broadcloth," is probably derived from 
toW'lo^ a textile material of India {see Mayers, in 
Notes and Queries^ Vol. II, 1868, p. 95); ha-la-ni 
(^^J^), the name for Russian Cloth, from 
Mongolian "khara"' [black]. The word ni (^IB) 
itself, in its present meaning of "broadcloth," 
must be of foreign origin, to judge from the 
composition of the character. 

Of the descriptive names the expression huo- 
huan-pu ( >^ t^ liJ), the "cloth that can be 
cleaned by fire" (P 49^^; cf. E 23, F 14, G 3 
and M 2), cannot possibly be mistaken. It must 
be the asbestos cloth (asbestinum sc. linum) of 
antiquity which, according to Pliny (XIX, i (4), 
19 seq.) is produced in the rainless deserts of 
India. ^ According to old Chinese traditions, a 
special account of which, collected from numerous 
ancient works, will be found in the Ko-chih- 
ching-yilan (ch. 27, p. 23 seqq.), the article known 
as huo-huan-pu was considered to be the hair, 
only two to four inches in length, of an animal 
which lived in fire and died in water, was of the 
size of a rat, and weighed a hundred catties, the 

1 "Nascitur in desertis adustisque Indias locis^ ubi non cadunt 
imbres, inter diras serpentes." Marco Polo (ch. XXXIX) fell in with 
a district producing asbestos in Central Asia. An early Latin text of 
his travels describes the substance as follows: "£t in ista montana est 
una alia vena unde fit salamandra. Salamandra autem non est bestia 
sicut didtur quae vivat in igne, sed dicam vobis quomodo fit 
nlamandra, etc" 


animal being either red or white in colour. It 
came, according to one authority, from an island 
in the sea which shone at a distance of over 300 li, 
and the shining was produced by that animal, 
the hair of which was as fine as silk and could 
be woven into a kind of cloth. Of this cloth 
garments were made that did not perish, though 
exposed to the fire, but would come out of the 
flames as white as snow. According to others, 
the cloth was made from the bark of a tree that 
grew out of the fire. Such and similar fabulous 
ideas regarding its origin prevailed in China 
throughout the ancient period. At Marco Polo's 
time, its real origin must have been known, as 
in the Yiian-shih (tC^)? the Annals of the 
Yiian dynasty, it is called shih-jung ( '^5 i|^ ), z.e.^ 
" stone wool '' (see Ko-chih-ching-yilan^ Lc.^ p. 24). 
If the philosopher Lieh-tzu (Faber's Licius), 
whose writings are said to date from the 4th century 
A.D., can be trusted, asbestos cloth was known 
in China as early as a thousand years before 
Christ. Lieh-tzu, quoted in the Yiian-chien-lei' 
hauy ch. 366, p. 4, says that King Mu of the Chou 
dynasty (B.C. 1001-946) received as tribute from 
the Western Tartars {Hsi-jung^ ^ 3^) a sword 
made of k^un-wu {^^^) steel, which would 
cut jadestone like mud, and asbestos cloth {huo- 
huan-pu). The joke practised at the court of 
the Emperor Charles the Fifth, who treated his 
guests after dinner with the sight of an asbestos 
table-cover being washed in a chimney fire,, was 


performed in China long before his time. The 
Wei'Chth^ quoted in the Ko-chih-ching-yuan^ l.c.^ 
tells us a story how the scoundrel Liang Chi, who 
murdered the youthful Emperor Chih-ti, and as the 
favourite of Huan-ti became virtually the ruler of 
China for nearly twenty years (died A.D. 159, 
Mayers), had an unlined garment made of asbestos. 
Having assembled a circle of guests, he soiled it by 
spilling a cup of wine, and then, as if in anger, 
took it oflf his body, exclaiming, **bum it." When 
the garment was placed into the fire, it began to 
simmer like ashes, and when the dirty matter on 
the cloth was burnt oflf and the fire was extinguished, 
it had turned into a brilliant white. Besides the 
article of dress in the possession of Liang Chi, 
which according to some was a napkin,^ the Chinese 
had handkerchiefs which ** were not different from 
common linen ones, except that they were of a 
bluish and blackish (^ ^^) colour;" they had 
also " lamp-wicks that would never finish." 

All these articles were not manufactured in 
China, but came from the foreign countries beyond 
the sea {hai-wai-chu-kuo^ '/$ ^\ ^ ^) either by 
sea or by land. According to the Wei-chih (I.e.), 

1 Tui'Ckin (iR f^)- 5^^ the quotation from the Fang-chou-tsa-yen 
( >6^ iW ^ W ) ^^ Ko-chih-ching-yuan^ l.c., p. 24. A napkin is 
certainly more likely to have been made of this expensive stuff than 
an article of dress. Moreover, napkins (mappae) made of asbestos as 
instrumeuts for convivial pleasantry, seem to have been in vogue in 
those times. Pliny, Lc, says: "Ardentes in focis convivium ex eo 
vidimus mappas, sordibus exustis, splendescentes igni magis, quam 
possent aquis." 


asbestos cloth was received at the Chinese cocirt 
as tribute from the western countries {^st-yU) in 
A.D. 238. Several countries are mentioned in 
the Cyclopaedia, from which the above facts are 
derived, as producing asbestos, but as I am not 
able to identify their names, I confine myself to 
stating that its being mentioned in connection 
with Ta-ts'in products, makes it probable that 
Syrian (Antiochian, Tyrian, Alexandrian) mer- 
chants were in the habit of exporting it to China, 
together with their other piece-goods. 

The list of piece-goods which, from the fact of 
their being mentioned with so much detail, we must 
assume to have represented part of the ancient Chi- 
nese import trade in these articles, contains a broad 
hint with regard to the identification of Ta-ts'in. 
For, just as the mere perusal of a list of the woollen 
or cotton goods met with on the China market at 
the present day will naturally suggest to anyone 
familiar with the geography of modern commerce 
the idea of their being principally the manufacture 
of Manchester looms, the perusal of the list of 
piece-goods in the Wez-ho (P 49^' to bbb) points 

to the factories where cloth of all kinds was 
woven, embroidered, or dyed. (These were about 
all on territory belonging to the district called 
"Orient;" I mean the manufacturing cities of Tyre, 
Sidon, Berytos and others of ancient Phoenician 
renown, certain districts in Asia Minor, and, not 


amongst the last, the commercial capital of the 
empire, Alexandria. Sjrria and Eg)^)! probably 
supplied the greater part of the articles farming 
the trade in textile fabrics; their principal rivals in 
this respect were ^'the countries on the east of the 
sei" {hai'tHng<ku-kuo)^ which I understand to be 
the countries on, or near, the Persian Gui£ 
Babylonian rugs and carpets have at all tames 
commanded a high position on the oriental market;^ 
but, as the Wei4to (P 44 ; cf. Q 27) assures ns, the 
colours of those manufactured in Ta-ts'in, i>., those 
of Syrian and Alexandrian looms, are prefenable in 
colour. This is probably prominently the case 
with Tyrian manufactures, owing to the purple- 
dyeing industry having been practised throughoqit 
antiquity on the Phoenician coast; but also with the 
various embroidered textures, amongst which the 
gold-thread embroideries are specially mentioned 
in Chinese records j[55^ Index to Translations, etc. 
p. 125, s. V. Clotn). The art of weaving gold- 
thread into cloth was of very ancient origin* I 
quote from the Very Rev. Rock's *' Textile Fa- 
brics" {South Kensington Museum Art Handbooks^ 
No. I, p. 23): "The process of twining long 
narrow strips of gold, or gilt silver, round a line t>f 
silk or flax, and thus producing gold-thread, is mucb 
earlier than has been supposed; and when Attains* 

^ " Colores dirersos i^titne intexere Babylon msxmne celebrsvit 
et nomen imposuit." Plin., VIII, 48 (74)1 196. "Babulonia peris- 
tromata/' Phut Stidi., 37S (Fleckeisen). " Babjlonica," U., "Baby- 
lonian goods/' was the name for certain kinds of bed-covers and 
carpets of superior texture. 


name [*] was bestowed upon a new method ^ of 
interweaving gold with wool or linen, thence called 
"Attalic," it was probably because he suggested to 
the weaver the introduction of the long-known 
goldenMhread as a woof into the textile from, his 
loom. ; It » would seem, from a passage in Claudian, 
that ladies at an early Christian period used to spin 
their own gold-thread." According to the same 
author, the superior quality of Cyprian gold-thread 
was known to the mediaeval world. AttalicxB vesies 
are mentioned in Propertius, but, as Rock (/. c, 
p. 14) points out, **the earliest written notice 
which '^e have about the employment of gold in 
the loom, or of the way in which it was wrought 
for such a purpose, is in the Pentateuch. Among 
the sacred vestments made ; for Aaron was an 
ephod of gold, violet and purple, and scarlet twice 
dyed, and fine twisted linen, with embroidered 
work ,*^. and the workmen cut also thin plates of gold 
and drew them small into strips, that they might be 
twisted with the woof of the aforesaid colours."' 

The combination of several materials (silk, wool, 
linen,' byssus) in the same texture [P 44] was well 
known in ancient manufacture, and the S)Tian 
school of art is especially known for the great 

* In the passage E 22, the term which I have rendered by "gold- 
embroidered rugs/' means, literally translated: "cut gold ( j|| ^) 
embroidery ^S'^) woven into (ijf^ js£) gold-embroidered rugs 
fj^ 101 J3)>" which seems to deifcribe as nearly as possible the above- 
mentioned twisting of strips of gold into the woof of a texture. 
' Regarding the use of gold embroideries, 5^ Fiiedlaenderi /. c, Vol. Ill, 
p. 6z. 


variety of musters produced by means of coloured 
threads. The I-wu-chih (^ 4^ Ji§, ^^^ Bret-- 
Schneider, "Botanicon Sinicum/' in y. of the 
N.-C. Branch^ R. Asiat Soc.^ Vol. XVI, p. 154,- 
No. 236), quoted by K*ang-hsi, ^. v. ^{sou\ says: 
*'In the country of Ta-ts4n « they weave rugs 
[ch^u^sou ; ci. P 44, 49J7V and -Q 27] from wild 
cocoons,' and by means of wool of diflferent colours, 
taken from all kinds of beasts, they weave into 
them birds, beasts, human figures, and [dead] 
objects; grass, trees, clouds and numerous astonish- 
ing tricks [?]." The Ko'Chih-cking^yuan {ch. 54, 
p. 14) completes the quotation by adding: "on 
these rugs they represent cockatoos flying gaily at 
a distance; the musters show the following ten 
colours: carnation, white, black, green, red, crim- 
son, gold,^ azure, jade colour and yellow.*'^ These 
rugs (cA*^;^-5o«), like the articles: called 7*a-/e«^ and 
cht'chang (vestes, vela, peristromata ?) are rdistinctly 
stated (P 44) to be made of sheep's wool (the stuflF 
derived from the water-sheep described in the 
T *ang records) together with a substance derived 
from the bark of trees (fibre; flax, linen?) and the 
silk of wild silk-worms. 

How did the ancient Syrian manufacturers obtain 
the silk of wild silk- worms ? Were they really 
acquainted with sericulture in all its phases? 

1 The translation of these colours is, of course, somewhat vague 
and can, at the best, give an approximate idea.-'- Cf. the colours of 
opaque glass and''t)f precious - stones described^ndef-iP 491^ antl it 


From a superficial examination of the Chinese 
records one might be tempted to assume that they 
were, in spite of the tradition^ by which the first silk- 
worms were brought in bamboo tubes from China 
to Constantinople by Byzantine monks under 

L_ Justinian.^ The mulberry tree is said to have 
been planted in Ta-ts*in both in the Hou-han- 

[_shu (E 8) and the Wei-shu (I 17), and both pas- 
sages are so worded as to suggest the practice 
of silk cultivation. The existence of the mortis 
nigra^ L., which is said to have been indigenous 
to the districts of Media and Pontus, and its 
occurrence in the Roman Orient as well as in 
Italy, may be proved by numerous passages." The 
species referred to is perhaps identical with the 
tree described under the name chHung-sang 
(IPjf ^)i ^'^-y *'the unproductive mulberry," in 
the Shih'i-chi (|^ JS[ IB ); ^ work of the 4th 
century, quoted in the Ko-chih-ching-yuan^ ch. 64, 
p. 20. It grows on the coast of the Western Sea; 
its leaves were red, and the fruit was of purple 
( colour.^ Further, the earliest list of Ta-ts*in 
products, that of the Hou-han-shu (E 22), speaks 
of certain fabrics clearly made of silk, as the very 
composition of the characters used in the Chinese 

1 Yule, Cathay, etc., Vol. I, p. CLIX seqq. I regret not being 
able to consult the often quoted work on this subject: Pardessus, 
"Mtooire sur le Commerce de Sole chez les Anciens/' in MSm, de 
VAcad. des Inscr., XV, 1843. 

< Hehn, KuUttrpflamen utid Hattsthiere, 3rd ed., 1877, p. 336 seqq. 

3 "Sanguineis frontem moris et tempora fingit." Virg., Eclog» 

VI, S3. 


text may suggest. The one about which the least 

doubt can be entertained is the ^Vm^ {^) of 
various colours." I have translated this term by 
"silk-cloth;" but it should be understood that it 
means a ^ne texture.^ The same article is men* 
tioned again by Ma Tuan-lin (Q 28), but in a 
somewhat different connection. It is there said 
that the people of Ta-ts*in make profit by obtaining 

the Chinese chten-su (|^ ^). The first of these 
two characters is explained by K'ang-hsi as mean* 
ing a close-textured stuff, the second as plain white 
silk, for which reason I have translated: "the thick, 
i.e.^ close -textured, plain silk-stuffs of China/' 
These stuffs, Tuan-lin says, are split, or unravelled, 
in order to make foreign ling (damask, gauze), kan 
(purple-dyed) and win (mustered) fabrics. The 
passage quoted is apparently drawn from the same 
source as, but has been more completely preserved 
than, the corresponding passage in the Weulio 
(P 45), which agrees with Ma Tuan-lin's version, 
but omits the mention of chien-su (close-textured 
silk). The Wet-lto simply speaks of Chinese silk 
unravelled {chieh |^) and made into hu-ling^ 
foreign ling (damask, gauze). 

I have enlarged upon the details of these two pas- 
sageSj because they possess considerable importance 
in confirming a fact which has lately been disputed 
by an authority in whose judgment in such 
questions I place otherwise the highest confidence. 

1 PuiHf ehih hsi-chiyiUh ling (^ A i^S li # B tt!)« Shuo- 
win, 8. V. Wl» 


Colonel Yule ( Cathay y Vol. I, Preliminary Essay, 
CLIV) says, that two passages of Pliny have ''led 
to a statement made in many respectable books, 
but which he apprehends to be totally unfounded, 
that the Greeks and Romans picked to pieces the 
rich China silks^ and wove light gauzes out of the 
material." The passages referred to read as 
follows : " Primi sunt hominum qui noscantur 
Seres lanicio silvarum nobilis, perfusam aqua de- 
pectentes frondium canitiem, unde geminus feminis 
nostris labos redordiendi fila rursusque texendi 
(VI, 17(20), 54);" and: "ex grandiore vermiculo 
gemina protendens sui generis cornuum urica fit, 
dein quod vocatur bombylis, ex ea necydallus, 
ex hoc in sex mensibus bombyx. Telas araneorum 
modo texunt ad vestem luxumque feminarum, quae 
bombycina appellatur. prima eas redordiri^ rur- 
susque iexere invenit in Coo mulier Pamphile, 
Plateae filia, non fraudanda gloria excogitatae 
rationis ut denudet feminas vestis (XI, 22 (26), 76)." 
Yule holds that Pliny's words ''seem to be merely 
aflFected expressions, indicating nothing more than 
the carding and reeling the sericum and the 
bombycinum respectively out of the entanglement 
of their natural web (as Pliny imagines it) and 
then re-entangling them again (as it were) in the 
loom." Yule further quotes a parallel passage 
from Aristotle {De An. Hist.^ V, 19), from which 
it may seem that this author, while speaking of 
the same bombycina^ was not aware of the practice 

1 Redordiri: one of the Paris codices has retorqueri. But, even if 
we could adopt this reading, it would not alter the sense very much. 


of picking foreign stuffs to pieces, — "a figment," 
Yule adds, "which seems entirely based on 
Pliny's rhetoric." It must be admitted that 
as long as we had no clear idea as to what kind 
of texture was meant by Pliny's " telae araneorum 
modo textae," we were free to assume that the 
stuff" "split and re-woven" was either the cocoon 
itself, or raw silk pressed into skeins. Yet, it 
seems to me that the passage in the Wet-lio and 
Ma Tuan-lin's extension of it, fully confirm the 
matter of fact as represented by Pliny, It looks 
very much, as if the texture called hu-ling in 
the two passages referred to was identical with 
the thin gauzes* of which Seneca {De Beneficiis^ 
VII, 9, quoted by Yule, /. c.) says: "Video sericas 
vestes, si vestes vocandae sunt, in quibus nihil 
est quo defendi aut corpus, aut denique pudor 
possit; quibus sumptis mulier parum liquido 
nudam se non esse jurabit, etc."* These Coicce 

* The very word gauze, the French gaze, is by some authorities 
derived from the name of the city of Gaza, once one of the principal 
markets of Indian trade on the coast of Phoenicia, on the ground that 
these textures were first manufactured there. I regret being unable 
to verify this statement, which I have seen made in various popular 
works {EncycL Brit., s.v. Gauze; Meyer's Conv, Lex,, s. v. Gaze; Heyse, 
Fremdwdrterb,, etc.)- Wedgwood, Diet, of Engl, Efym,, Vol. II, p, 1 39, 
who refers the word to Teutonic roots, is either not aware of this 
etymology, or silently disapproves of it. I should be glad to see the 
manufacture of this texture traced to Syrian soil. Could the Sanscrit 
kash&ya, "the gown of a Buddhist priest," which appears in Chinese 
as chia-sha (kasa, |S tS> Julien, Mithode, etc., Nos. 581 and 34) be 
connected with this root ? The corresponding Chinese name stands 
now for "Cambrics" and "Muslins" in the Customs Tariff. 

9 Cf. Horat. SaL I 2, loi: "Cois tibi paene videre est Ut nudam," 
and the jest ascribed to Varro, who called the dresses made of this 


vestes seem to have been amongst the articles of 
trade sent to China; they were, of course, of a 
pattern quite unknown there, and may thus have 
been credited with being the original produce of 
Ta-ts*in instead of Chinese produce re-manufactured 
abroad. We, therefore, find the texture called 
Itng^ together with certain other silk manufactures, 
mentioned as original produce iii the Hou-kan-shu 
(E 22), without any explanation as to its origin, 
which we must assume was unknown to the 
Chinese up to the second century. After this 
time, the Chinese must have got acquainted with 
the fact somehow or other; for, the passage in the 
Wei'lio (P 45) shows that they were aware of 
the process of their manufacture during the time 
of the Three Kingdoms. The mistake made 
previously in the Hou-han-shu with regard to 
the existence of silk culture in Ta-ts*in was, 
however, not corrected, and, quite in accordance 
with the spirit of Chinese literature, was copied 
into the Wei-lio as well as into the later records. 

I shall not attempt to say the last word with 
regard to the mystery of the shui-yang or 
water-sheep (K 26; L 40; Q 23). The fact of 
these animals being connected by their navels 
with the ground suggests that we ought not to 
think of ordinary sheep, not even of that breed 

stufiF toga vitrecB, Friedlaender is probably right in assuming that the 
scandalous fashion of wearing this Coic gauze was confined to the frail 
sisterhood. SUtengesch, Rom*s, Vol. I (1873), P* 47^* 


of Arabian sheep, mentioned by Herodotus (III, 
113), which **has long tails, not less than three 
cubits, and were they suflFered to drag them 
behind them, they would become sore by rubbing 
against the ground. The shepherds, therefore, 
make small carriages, and fasten them under the 
tails, to each animal one.*'^ Nor would Pliny^s 
description of a Syrian breed satisfy me, of which 
he says (VIII, 48 (75), 198): ^^Syriae cubitales 
ovium caudae, plurimumque in ea parte lanicii. 
Castrari agnos nisi quinquemenstres praematurum 
existimatur.'' * 

Colonel Yule [Cathay^ Vol. I, pp. LVII and 
144), refers these accounts to the stories of the 
Lamb-plant of the Wolga countries related by 
Friar Odoric, who speaks of ** certain very large 
melons growing in a certain great kingdom called 
Cadeli, on the mountains called the Caspean 
Mountains. When these be ripe, they burst, 
and a little beast is found inside like a small 
lamb, so that they have both melons and meat/* 
Odoric adds: "and though some, peradventure, 
may find that hard to believe, yet it may be 
quite true ; just as it is true that there be in 
Ireland trees which produce birds.'' Yule quotes 
the senior Scaliger's Exercitationes^ where a simila!r 
plant is described. But, although according to 

3 Cf. Heeren, Hist, Res,, Vol. I, p. 363. 

* The two passages quoted from Herodotus and Pliny show that 
to identify the shui-yang there was no need to fall back on the 
Cappadocian sheep of Strabo, if sheep they must be, as is done by 
Pauthier, De f AuthenticiUt etc., p. 39. 


the Hsin-t^ang-shu the ** water-sheep" occur in 
a northen district, the locality referred to by 
Odoric as well as by Scaliger takes us too far 
away from the Ta-ts4n territory to consider it as a 
produce of the country. Moreover, the tradition 
regarding this vegetable curiosity appears to 
belong to a period much later than the time 
when the first allusion to the shut-yang was made 
in Chinese records. Odoric's journeys were made 
early during the 14th century, and Scaliger^s 
Exercitationes are dated A.D. 1537; whereas "the 
down of the water-sheep," a material which must 
have been derived from the animal described in 
the T'ang histories, is mentioned in as early a 
record as the Hou-han-shu (E 24 ; cf. P 44). 
It may be safely surmised therefrom that the 
water-sheep tradition belongs to antiquity, and 
not to the middle ages. 

Bretschneider {Arabs, etc., p. 24) says, with 
regard to the passage L 36, which reads "they 
weave the hair of the water-sheep into cloth 
which is called Hai-hsi-pu^' and which is clearly 
a transcript of the older passage E 24 : " This is 
perhaps, the Byssus, a cloth-stuff woven up to 
the present time by the inhabitants of the Mediter- 
ranean coast, especially in Southern Italy, from 
the thread-like excrescences of several sea-shells, 
especially Pinna squamosal I am inclined to 
believe that Dr. Bretschneider has hit upon the 
right thing; but, to prove the fact, a special inquiry 
will have to be made into the habits of the Pinna, 


in order to ascertain whether there was any sense 
in screening them off to prevent the beasts (large 
fishes, etc.) from eating them up; whether the 
animal will perish, if the byssus be forcibly cut 
off the rock to which it attaches itself; whether 
it can be induced by certain noises to detach the 
byssus voluntarily, and whether in doing so it will 
then yield a sound of alarm, etc. All these facts 
will have to be enquired into by a naturalist; and 
philologists will have to answer the question, 
whether the byssus derived from certain species 
of Pinna was employed in weaving the texture 
called hai'hsi'pu^ which is described in the Wei-lio 
(P 44) and which consisted of this byssus (sheep's 
wool, water-sheep's wool), the bark of trees (vege- 
table fibre, linen?), and the silk of wild silk-worms 
(Chinese silk split for re-weaving). 

Amongst the products repeatedly mentioned as 
peculiar to the country of Ta-ts4n the drug called 
sU'ho by the Chinese deserves special attention. 
I have translated this term by ^^storax," as an 
enquiry into the present meaning of this word 

strongly suggested it. The su-ho-yti (^^yft) of 
the present day is the article enumerated in the 
Customs Tariff as ^^Rose Maloes;" it appears under 
the same name in the Emperor K^ang-hsi's Customs 
Tariff of the year A.D. 1687, and is translated by 
the same term (*^Rose Malloes") in the manuscript 
copy written by a Foreign merchant during the 


middle of the last century.^ It has been pointed 
out by Dr. H. F. Hance [Notes and Queries^ 
Vol. Ill, p. 31) that the term Rose Maloes as 
applied to this drug must be a misnomer inas- 
much as the article imported into China is not the 
produce of the Altingia excelsa^ Noronh.,. "a 
lofty and most valuable tree in Java, with a close- 
grained fragrant wood, which is there called 
Rasamala^ and yields, from incisions in the bark a 
honey-like sweet-scented resin, hardening by ex- 
posure to the air, which, misled probably by the 
similarity of the name, some have supposed to be 
identical with the Rose Maloes of the Customs 
Tariff." Dr. Hance justly draws attention to the 
late Mr. Daniel Hanbury's notes on Storax in con- 
nection with the route, by which the article referred 
to is brought to China. Here it now arrives 
generally from Bombay whither it is imported from 
Aden, the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.' A 
specimen of the su-ho-yu^ which I had procured 
from a Chinese drug shop at Shanghai, w^as sub- 
mitted to a chemist who was perfectly neutral in 
the question and quite unaware of my own opinion 
on the matter, and who declared it without hesita- 

1 See '^The Hoppo-Book of 1753 " int\iQ y. of the N.-C, B. of the 
R, Asiat. Soc, Vol. XVII, p. 221 seqq. 

2 Hanbury ("On Storax" in P/iann. Journ., XVI (1857), reprinted 
in Science Papers, ed. J. Ince, London 1876, p. 143) draws attention to 
a Report of the Exterjial Commerce of Bombay y in which the term "Rose 
Malloes " occurs as that of a drug imported by sea into the Port of 
Bombay from Aden, the Arabian Gulf and the Persian Gulf. A sam- 
ple was sent for by Mr. Hanbury and, on examination, proved to 
be our ordinary Liquid Storax, 


tion to be Unguentum Styracis. , It appears 
therefrom that the modern su-ho-yu is. Liquid 
Storax. I do not feel competent to decide whether 
the Storax of ancient classical writers (Dioscorides 
and Pliny) was Liquid or Solid Storax. The two 
kinds of the drug so called are, according to 
Hanbury {Science Papers^ p. 129), derived from 
different plants. The botanical reader will find the 
question most exhaustively dealt with in Hanbury's 
papers on Storax in the Pharm. J^ourn. for 1857 
and 1863 (reprinted in Science Papers^ 1. c.) It 
will be seen from the second of these papers that, 
in the author's opinion, Liquid Storax was probably 
not known in ancient commerce, in opposition to 
Professor Krinos of Athens, who assumes that it 
was known to the ancient Greek physicians. The 
text of the Hou-han-shu does not show what kind 
of Storax then came to China; but it appears to me 
that the term hsiang-kao {i.e., fragrant or aromatic 
ointment), in the Liang-shu (H 2) suggests the 
coming from Ta-ts*in of a substance similar to the 
modem article during the 6th century A.D. 
Whichever view we adopt, there cannot be the 
slightest doubt that neither of the two kinds was 
produced in Italy, as the study of Mr. Hanbury's 
exact researches will show. The conclusion at 
which this painstaking scholar arrived after several 
years' study of the matter, is this: — 

1st., as regards Solid Storax: 
that the original and classical Storax was produced 
by Styrax officinale^ Linn.; that, always scarce and 


valuable, it has in modem times wholly disappeared 
from commerce {Science Papers^ p. 145) ; that it 
was produced in certain localities in Syria, in 
the south-east of Asia Minor, in Cyprus and Creta 
[ihid.^ p- 131 seq.);* 

2nd., as regards Liquid Storax: 
that it is now produced in certain localities in the 
south-west of Asia Minor. 

Su'ho is, according to the Pen-ts^ao-kang-mu 
(ch. 34, p. 54), the name of a country producing 

the drug; in fan (^), t.e.^ Sanscrit or Pali, books it 

is called tu-lu-se-chien {^ ^.l^jSlI)-^ 

Amongst the aromatic drugs mentioned in 
the large list of Ta-ts4n products of the Wei- 
lio^ we find the incense called HsUn-lu 

(1^ l^j ^^ffi)' Hsun-lu-hsiang is, according to 
the Pen-ts^aO'kang-mu^ identical with J^u-hsiang 
(^ §), which is now the TariflF name for Gum 
Olibanum. The Chinese word hsun-lu furnishes 

1 Plin., XII, 25 (55), 124 : Proxima Judaeas. Syria supra 
Phoenicen styracem gignit circa Gabala et Marathunta et Casium 
Seleuciae montem, etc." Cf. Dioscorid., de Mat, Med,, lib. I, cap. 
LXXIX, quoted by Hanbury, /. ^., p. 130. According to Pliny the 
qualities produced in S3rria were the best; those of Asia Minor^ Cyprus 
and Creta came after. 

2 According to Nos. 2091, 1083, 1554 and 629 in Julien's Methodic 
etc., the Chinese equivalent of the Sanscrit sound turtishka (tourou- 
chka, Julien). It appears from Julien's No. 629 that this word is 
explained in the Fan-t-ming-i (jK|!| >S j|)> ch. VIII, p. 7, which I 
regret not being able to consult at present. 


an additional proof towards its identification, as its 
sound in the Southern dialects, which m^y have 
resembled the ancient sound, hmi-luk^ is clearly 
connected with Turkish ghyunluk^ the name for 
Olibanum in that language.^ The question arises 
how this word came into the Wei-lio^ and from 
what language it was then derived; and, whether it 
is not a foreign term in the Turkish language. One 
of the various equivalents mentioned in the Kang- 
mu is the term Mo-Ie-hsiang (^ |^, old sound: 
malek?), which name may be derived from a Semi- 
tic root (melek, malch, etc.), though I do not wish 
to do more than draw attention to this possibility. 

Another name is tu-lu-hsiang {1^^^)^ which may 
represent the root thur of the Latin equivalent 

There seems to be, with all these linguistic 
probabilities in connection with the Chinese identi- 
fication, little doubt that the Hsun-lu of the Wei-lio 
is Olibanum or Frankincense. The difficulty is that, 
far from being produced in Syria, this drug had been 
imported from remote antiquity by the Phoenicians 
from * Arabia and the neighbourhood of Cape 
Guardafui for the use of their temples. But 
Phoenician and Syrian, as well as Indian, traders 
had no doubt supplies of it amongst their cargoes, 
and may thus have come to be credited with being 
the producers. The Wei-lio and the Nan-fang-i- 
wU'Chih^ quoted in Pen-ts^ao-kang-mu^ ch. 34, 

1 The word is quoted as the Turkish name of that drug in Han- 
bury, Science Papers, ed, Ince, p. 142, note 4, 


p. 45, are, therefore, probably not literally right in 
saying that Hsiin-lu-hsiang comes from Ta-ts*in^ 

I do not intend to speak of all the products 
mentioned in the lists handed down in Chinese 
records. But, before closing my remarks on Ta- 
ts4n drugs, I wish to draw attention to a most 
characteristic product of the Roman Orient, the 
'* finger-nail flower," called Chih-chia (^ ^) 
in Chinese. The Nan-fang-ts^ao-inU'Chuang says 
of it:^ "The Chih-chia \i.e.^ finger-nail] flower 
grows on a tree, five or six ch4h in height, with 
soft and slender branches. Its leaves are like the 

tender Yil (Jf^). Its snowy whiteness and flavour 
resemble that of the Yeh-iisi-ming {^ ^ ^) or 
Mo'li-hua (^5^ ^). It was also brought by Hu 
people (Persians, Arabs?) from Ta-ts'in, who 
transplanted it to Nan-hai {i.e.y Canton]; yet, these 
flowers are very numerous. They are fine, like 
half a grain of rice, but rather larger. The people 
there often pluck them and place them in their 

I The account given of the tree yielding the drug, as given in that 
ancient botanical work, somewhat explains the origin; it says: " On the 
sea-coast there grows a large tree, the twigs and leaves of which are 
straight like those of the ku-sutigi'^ ^, a kind of pinus ?); it grows 
in the sand. During midsummer, gum will flow out on the sand; it is 
shaped like the gum (resin) of peach trees. The barbarians (J-jen, 
^ A) collect it for sale to travelling merchants. If these fail to 
arrive, they consume it themselves." The allusion to barbarians 
suggests that the drug was probably not produced in Ta-ts'in itself, 
but that the Ta-ts'in people must have been the "travelling mer- 
chants *' who brought it on to China. 

a Cf. E. C. Taintor, " Henna in China," Notes and Queries, Vol. 11 
(l868), p. 46, 


pockets and sleeves for the sake of their smell. 
Another name of the flower is San-mo-hua ("^^ 
^).'' The plant here described has been generally 
referred to the Lawsonia tnermiSy L., furnishing 
the Henna of the Levant. A correspondent of 
Notes and Queries (Vol. I, p. 40 seq.) says, with 
regard to this point: 

** In Western Asia and Northern Africa, henna 
is extensively used as a dye for the finger-nails of 
women and children, and in some places it is used 
also by men, and applied to the hands, feet, hair 
and beard, and also to the manes and tails of 
horses.^ Its application as a reddish brown dye 
for the finger-nails is, however, the most universal; 
when used for the hair it is changed to black by a 
subsequent application of indigo. The custom is 
one of great antiquity; henna is supposed to be the 
**camphire" mentioned in the Song of Solomon 
(I, 14, and IV, 13); and the expression in Deuter- 
onomy (XXI, 12) **pare her nails" maybe rendered 
** adorn her nails," and alludes to this practice; 
evidence of it has also been found in Egyptian 
mummies. Henna is derived from a tree called 

• 1 Mr. Parker suggested to me the possibility of the expression 
pai'tna-chU'lieh ( ^ »l| ^ fi|) in the passages I i8, P 49 A and /, and 
Q 21, where 'tnao (^), mane, stands for lieh^ meaning: "white horses 
with red manes." The above-mentioned habit of dyeing the manes of 
horses would greatly support this translation as far as matter of fact 
goes; but, can it be justified that chu-lieh as the dependent noun does 
not precede pai-maf Should not the above words, rendered into 
Chinese, read; chu-lieh-pai-ina rather ihscn pai-nia'ChU'liehT 


Lawsonia inermisy^ the leaves of which are beaten 
into a paste and thus applied. 

^^ Lawsonia tnermts is a common shrub of culti- 
vation in Kwangtung, and its flowers are extensively 
used in bouquets and by women to adorn their hair; 
but numerous enquiries that I have made among a 
Punti population, have failed to elicit any logical 
reason for its name, ^ ^ ^ (finger-nail flower), 
and it is interesting to find that, though not 
generally known to the Puntis, the custom of dyeing 
the finger-nails by an application of the pounded 
leaves of this tree, exactly as has been done for 
thousands of years, and is done to this day in the 
West of Asia, is practised by the young girls 
among the Hakkas of Kwangtung." 

The author of the note on p. 46 of Vol. II of 
Notes and Queries^ the late Mr. Taintor, draws at- 
tention to the curious similarity in name between 
the flower there mentioned and called in Chinese 
Yeh'hsi'tning (old sound Ya-si-ming?) and the 
botanical name of the plant it denotes {y^asminum 
officinale^ L-?)» which is nearly related to the mo'li" 
hua {yasminum Sambac^ L.). The Nan-fang-ts^ao- 
mU'Chuang devotes an article to this plant also, 
in which it is distinctly stated that it was brought 
to Nan-hai (Canton) from western countries {hsi- 
kuo) by Hu people (Arabs, Persians?). This 
foreign name, which is now common to all 

1 According to Dr. Hance {Notes and Queries, Vol. II, p. 29) the 
common garden balsam (Jmpatiens dalsamina, L.) is also us^ for 
dyeing the nails. 


European languages, is said to be derived from 
Arabo-Persian jdsamln^ and the occurrence of 
the word in a Chinese record written about A.D. 
300,* shows that it must have been in early use. 
I do not wish to commit myself to any positive 
statement as to the identification of the term hu 

(lS9)> very common in Chinese ethnographical 
records of all ages. This word has probably 
various senses; but in connection with the extreme 
west, I am inclined to assume it denoted the inha- 
bitants of the coast of the Persian Gulf, especially 
those of the Euphrates and Tigris countries, or 
travelling Arabs. It appears that the Hu-j&n who 
brought the Henna plant from Ta-ts4n to China 
were not Ta-ts*in people, but belonged to another 
nationality trading between Ta-ts4n and China; 
they may have had factories at Canton {Nan-hat) 
as, without taking a certain permanent interest 
in the country, they would not have thought of 
introducing foreign plants to this distant soil. The 
two passages quoted from the Nan-fang'ts^ao-mu- 
chuang seem to throw a certain light on the trade 
with the far east inasmuch as they suggest that 
Canton {Nan-hai) was during that time (about 
A.D. 300)^ the terminus of navigation to which 

1 See Bretschneider, "Bot.^Sin.," /.^., p. 38. 

3 It was very nearly about that time that an embassy, probably 
like the An-tun mission, a commercial expedition, arrived from Ta* 
ts'in (F 20; Q 36; R ai), and I am inclined to believe that they opened 
the way to Canton; for, not too long before, at the beginning of that 
century, in A.D. 226, the merchant Ts'in-lun still landed in Tung-king, 
and not in Canton (H 8). 

4^2 iDENtlFlCAtlOKS. 

foreigners were in the habit of resorting, and that 
these foreigners were Hu people. Neumann's 
remarks anent the Hu people and the Hu writing* 
do certainly not contradict this assumption. How- 
ever, this question cannot be decided upon all at 
once, and a special enquiry, based on a large 
number of ancient passages, will be a great 
desideratum for this kind of research. 

/The Nan-fang'ts^ao-mU'Chuang further contains 

the following notice: ^^ Mihsiang-chih (9f^>lftj 
Le.^ honey-fragrance paper) is made of the bark 
and leaves of the mi-hsiang tree; its colour is 
grayish, and it has spots giving it the appearance 
of fish-spawn. It is very fragrant, but strong and 
pliable; it maybe soaked in water without spoiling. 
In the fifth year of T^ai-k^ang of the Chin dynasty 
(A.D. 284) Ta-ts4n presented 30,000 rolls.* The 
[Chinese] Emperor bestowed 10,000 rolls on the 
general field-marshal, ** Subjugator of the South," 

the Marquess of Tang-yang Tu Yii (>^ i^),^ com- 
manding him to write thereon the works compiled 

by him, namely, the Ch^un-chHu-shih-lieh (^ ^ 

^ 'W)* ^i^d the Ching'Chuan-chi-chieh (jj^ ^ 

1 "Zur'Geschichte der Schrift bei den tatarischen VOlkerschaften " 
in AsiaL Studietiy p. 130 seqq. 

2 It is very probable that this paper was brought by the so-called 
^ / embassy mentioned in the Chin-shu (F 20). See Note 3 on p. 271. 

3 See Mayers, Manual, No. 684. 

♦ Cf. Bretscbneider, "Bot. Sin./' I.e., p. 144; No. 89. 


^ ^)» to be submitted to the throne.* But 
Tu Yu died before the paper had reached him; 
the latter was, therefore, handed to his family bv 
Imperial command to be kept by them.'' 

The above passage from the A^an-fan^-ts^w-wu- 
chuang has given rise to the assumption that a 
quantity of Roman paper, the produce of the Papy- 
rus plant, took its way to China, as a present from 
the then reigning Roman emperor. Dr. Edkins, 
in an article "On the origin of Paper-making in 
China," in Notes and Queries^ Vol. I, p. 67 seq., 
even- makes use of it to show that the idea of 
manufacturing paper was first introduced to China 
from the west. I do not wish to interfere with all 
the cherished notions of our writers on ancient 
civilisation; but as regards this fact, I cannot help 
saying that I consider it very doubtful. Thirty 
thousand rolls of paper represent a big cargo, and 
as the Chinese at that time were already in the 
possession of a voluminous literature written on paper 
of silk and other materials which must have suited 
their own purposes at least as well as the Alexan- 
drian ** chartae," it does not seem probable that a 

1 I strongly suspect that Pauthier who {Mhnoires sur rAntiquiti 
ChinoisCf p. 252) translates an apparently identical passage from the 
Ching'tzn-fufig (IE ^ jfi)> labours under some kind of misunder- 
standing in saying: '^ le Ta Ths!n vint ofTrir en present trento 

mille pi^es de ce meme papier. L* empereur des T9in (Wou-ti, alors 
regnant) donna, de son c6te, a I'envoye (du Ta Thstn) dix mille larges 
pieces d'etoffes preparees, et une copie manuscrite du Tchdn-thsiCou 
(Annates du royaume de Lou, par Confucius)i plac^e dans une en- 
vejoppe bois de p€cher rouge." 


present of such a bulky nature should have 
been sent on this lengthy journey, in order to 
introduce a mission, official or commercial. Pau- 
thier* thinks he cannot credit Diocletian with 
presenting such a valuable gift, and therefore 
believes the embassy to have come from the 
Sassanide king. My own personal opinion is that 
neither the former, nor the latter sent any paper, 
nor even an embassy to China; biit that S)rrian or 
Alexandrian merchants reached Annam via Ceylon 
in the same way as the so-called embassy of 
A.D. 1 66; that, in order to obtain certain trading 
privileges, possibly the opening to trade of the port 
of Canton,* they had to send presents to the court 
of China; and, having disposed of th^ir Ta-ts*in 
goods, they invested part of the proceeds of their 
sales in the purchase of local (Annam) produce to 
serve in lieu of original home articles, as a present 
to the emperor. Such a mode of dealing with the 
Chinese court would not have been without prece* 
dent, since even the very first mission of A.D. i66 
presented Annamese goods, viz.^ ivory, rhinoceros 
horns and tortoise-shell (E 33, etc). I base this 
view on the fact that the tree called Mi-hsiang- 
shu^ the bark and leaves of which are said, in the 
Nan-fang-ts^ao-mu-chuang^ to furnish that kind of 
fragrant paper '* presented by Ta-ts'in," is not men- 

i Mimoires, etc., U. "Le present de trente mille pieces dd 
'papier' porte par Tambassadeur h, Tempereur de la Chine n'aunut 
gu^re 6t6 du goOt de Diocl6tien^ en supposant qu'il en ait eu ks 

9 §e^ note 2 on p. 271. 


tioned in any of the Ta-ts'in records we have 
examined amongst the products of the country; 
and that we possess a distinct statement in the 
very same authority from which the paper account 
is derived,^ that this tree grows in Chiao-chih 
($ tt), U., Tung-king. 

Amongst the products realgar and orpiment 
(P 49^^) are almost a speciality of Syria. Pliny 
(XXXIII, 4 (22), 79) tells us a story how gold was 
made "ex auripigmento, quod in Syria foditur." 

Copper was produced in excellent quality on the 
island of Cyprus; gold and silver occurred in the 
country, but it is probably, as I have insinuated on 
p. 244, rather owing to the fact of trade in these 
precious metals having been in the hands of Syrian 
or Alexandrian merchants that their names became 
associated with the products of Ta-ts*in. The same 

1 Nan-fang'ts^ao-ntU'Chuangf ch. 2, in the account following that of 
the Chih'Chia or finger-nail flower. There, eight different lisiang or 
incenses, including the mi-hsiang, or honey-fragrance, and the ch^in- 
hsuMg (JJ2 §), which name stands for Garoo wood {Aquilaria 
AgaUocha, Roxb.) in the modern Customs Tariff, are said to be derived 
from one and the same tree, called mi-hsiang-shu. Regarding the 
chfin-hsiatig, see Hanbury, "Notes on Chinese Materia Medica," in 
TransacL of the Linn. Soc,, 1860-62, reprinted in Science Papers, p. 263 
seqq. If, as the Chinese authority states, Garoo wood is deHved from 
the same tree which furnishes the paper in question, there can be no 
doubt that the paper was produced in Annam and not in a western 
country, where I understand the tree referred to did not grow. The 
Chinese description of the Mi-/tsiang-s/iu answers well enough to the 
Annamese tree, but not by any means to the Papyrus plant of Egypt 
or Syria. 


reason will hold good for other metals found in the 
Ta-ts4n list of products, all of which probably came 
from Alexandria, the central depot for the Roman 
trade in metals. 

The Chiif.-t^ang'Shu (K 36) says that, "in the 
2nd year of the period Ch4en-f6ng (= A.D. 667) 
Fu-lin sent an embassy to China oflFering Ti-yeh-ka 
(J[£ ifc 'ftl'5 old sound: teyaka)." 

Mr. Phillips {China Review^ Vol. VII, p. 414) 
remarks with regard to this article of tribute: 
" This, a Chinese scholar informs me, is the same 
as Sh6n-k^an, %^ ^, that is, a shrine or moveable 
box in which figures of gods were placed. Another 
Chinese suggests Kia-lan, jjji ^, or Ts6ng-k'ia-lan, 

f^ 'fJW ^> Sanscrit Sangarana^ a, temple and a 
shrine. Vide Williams' Dictionary, under character 

Lan, ^.'' 

It appears to me that both the Hsien-sh6ng 
advising Mr. Phillips were wrong, and I should 
like to know on what authority they could base 
their identifications. Ti-yeh-ka was a drug, highly 
valued in western countries, though probably not 
imported with much success in China. It is 
apparently first mentioned in the T^ang-pen-ts^ao^ 
the pharmacopoeia of the T^ang dynasty, published 
during the middle of the 7th century.^ The Pen- 

1 Regarding this work, see Bretschneider, Bot. Sin., Lc, p. 44. 


ts^ad^kang'tnu (ch. 50-S, p. 45) contains a short 
account of it/ It came from the countries of the 
west, and the people there say that pig's gall is 
used in making it, that it resembles the Chiu-huai 

{{K 9t) P^U in shape, and that it is red and black 
in colour.^ It was known in Canton during the 
Sung dynasty. Its taste is bitter and cold; it is 
not poisonous; its medical qualities are those of a 
panacea inasmuch as it cures pai-ping-chung-ngo 

(^ ^ tjl ^), "the evil effects in all diseases," etc. 

I do not hesitate to identify this drug with the 

theriac (Greek ra ^j/jo^a/ca =t6yaka, ti-yeh-ka) of 

1 The word is there written with the characters i£ |^ Jp' ti-yeh- 
ka, identical in sound with the name appearing in the Chiurfang-shu. 

2 The 23rd volume of a manuscript pharmacopoeia now in my 
possession, the Pm-t^ao-pin-hui-ching-yao (7|C!1^ pnft^^); 
written in A.D. 1506 by the Imperial Medical College of the Ming, 
contains besides the text, coinciding in its main points with that 
of the Kang-mUy a water-coloured illustration, apparently describing 
the moment when a sample of this drug was presented to a Chi- 
nese emperor. The figure of the latter, it is true, looks somewhat 
plain; he sits on a piece of rock instead of a throne, and we could 
not guess his dignified position but for the figure of a foreigner 
kneeling before him and holding a dish in his hands, which are 
covered with a green napkin. The dish contains a number of pills 
of the size of a billiard ball, red and black in colour. According to the 
text of the manuscript (and also in my edition of the Cheng-lei-pm-ts'ao^ 
printed in A.D. 1523) the western makers mix chu-tan (^ Jj8), ^.e,, 
the "gall of various animals." It appears that the expression chu-tan 
(^ JR)» i*^'i " pigs' gall," in the text .of the Kang-mu is an arbitrary 
change from the former; for, in the manuscript it is distinctly stated 
that "various galls" are ho-ho ('^ ft), "mixed." The manuscript 
quotes from the T^ang-pen-chu (J^>2(C^) that "foreigners at the 
time [«.tf., during the T'ang dynasty] considered it as highly valuable, 
and that a trial would prove its efficacy as a medicine. The drug 
was to be kept in porcelain vessels. Its smell is described as rancid 
(M)> probably because, by the time it arrived in China, it was spoiled. 


ancient and mediaeval renown. This celebrated 
panacea was, according to Pliny (XXIX, i (8), 24), 
''excogitata compositio luxurise." It was made of 
six hundred, t\e.y a great many, diflferent ingredients. 
The same author (XX, 24 (100), 264) has preserved 
a recipe, of the theriac used by Antiochus the 
Great as an antidote against all poisons excepting 
that of the viper. It contained no gall, it is true, 
but it states that the medicine was made into pills 
of a certain weight (**pastillos victoriati ponderis"). 
Another recipe will be found in Pliny (XXIX, 4 
(21), 70), in which theriac is also made into pills. 
From later accounts it appears that the composition 
of the drug varied at different times, and it looks 
as if the essential point in the matter is, that it was 
at any time a very complicated, expensive, and 
fashionable medicine. Pliny (XXIX, i (8), 25) 
seems to consider it an ostentatious humbug, and 
the Chinese may have been right in not giving it a 
more prominent place in their materia medica. I 
have seen later recipes for theriac containing 
substances which must have imparted to it an intrin- 
sically bitter taste, such as myrrh, snakes' gall and 
opium. The latter drug probably often entered in 
large proportions. The Mussulmans of the middle 
ages who wished to enjoy the effect of either hemp 
or opium, took this compound in lieu of these drugs 
themselves; and we may be allowed to conjecture 
that Opium was first brought to China in this dis- 
guise. D'Herbelot {Bibliotheque Orientate) says, 
under the word Benk^ which is the name used in 
Western Asia for the hen-bane plant, also applied 


to the narcotic prepared from hemp-leaves:^ "Ceux 
qui usent ordinairement du Benk et de TAfioun 
[=Opium], sont nommez par les Arabes, Persans 
et Turcs Benghi, et Afiiini, et passent parmi eux 
pour des ddbauchez: car ces deux drogues qui otent 
la liberty de Tesprit et Tusage de la raison, pro* 
duisent le m£me effet que le vin, sont condamn^es 
par les Docteurs Musulmans les'plus rigides, quoy 
qu'il n'en soit fait aucune mention dans F Alcoran; 
et parce que la Theriaque quoyque permise, pr6te 
souvent son nom k ces deux drogues, le nom de 
Theriaki ou preneur de Theriaque, s'applique aussi. 
k un ddbauche." According to Arab historians the 
best Theriac came from the province of Ir&k or 
Baghdad {see d'Herbelot, /.c, Vol. Ill, p. 453). 

The Hdn^tang'Shu (L 38; cf. Q 51 and R 31) 
contains a curious account of some kind of barter 
trade said to be carried on "on the western sea." 
We may be safe in assuming that neither Syrian 
nor Alexandrian merchants ever concluded a single 
bargain in this primitive manner in their own 
country, and the words "on the western sea" seem 

^ The Chinese were apparently not unacquainted with this pre- 
paration. Western or foreign hemp ( ||U J^=flax ?) was introduced 
into China by Chang-ch'ien. {Ko-cfiih-ching-yiiany ch. 6 1, p. 22 ^) The 
effect of eating the juice (ff) of the hemp plant must have been 
known in China as early as the 4th century h,Y),, as the Shih-i-chi 
iMt S ffi)> quoted in the Kthchih-cking^an (U.)> speaks of the 
juice Qf hemp, the citing of which causes one to see spirits. 


to indicate that the custom described existed 
somewhere on neutral soil as the point of rendez- 
vous. The passage referred to is probably a 
transcript from some older, record, and purports 
to give a description of the barter trade said to 
have existed during the first century A.D. between 
the aboriginal Singhalese and Chinese or Roman 
(Syrian, Alexandrian) traders. Pliny (VI, 22 
(24), 88) mentions an almost identical custom 
which, according to the reports received from 
Ceylon ambassadors to the Emperor Claudius as 
well as from Roman merchants (**nostri. nego- 
tiatores") prevailed on the island of Ceylon; these 
reports were to the effect that ^^.fluminis ulteriore 
ripa merces positas juxta venalia toUi ab his, si 
placeat permutatio." 

We may be allowed to declare the two accounts, 
that of the Hsin-fang-shu and that of Pliny, to 
refer to one and the same subject, the ancient 
barter trade at Ceylon. The name kuei-shih^ 
^' spirit-market," or ^^devil-market" as it may per- 
haps be as well rendered, can be easily explained 
by a passage in Fa Hsien's Fo-kuo-chi which 
beyond all doubt refers to Ceylon, and which reads, 
in Mr. Giles' translation:' ^^This country had 
originally no inhabitants; only devils and spirits 

\%L )P$] ^^d dragons lived in it, with whom the 
merchants of neighbouring countries came to trade. 
When the exchange of commodities took place 
the devils and spirits did not appear in person, 

1 Record of the Buddistic Kingdoms^ ch. XXXVIII, p. 93. 

Identifications. 281 

but set out their valuables with the prices attached. 
Then the merchants, according to the prices, 
bought the things and carried them ofF."^ 

Sir James E. Tennent refers to both the Roman 
and the Chinese tradition regarding this barter 
trade, '^ and, further, traces its existence during 
antiquity as well as in later times to the shyness 
of the aboriginal race inhabiting the island. The 
principal locality where trade was carried on 
was, according to Tennent, the port of Galle. 
"Galle," he says,^ "in the earlier ages, appears 
to have occupied a position in relation to trade 
of equal if not of greater importance than that 
which attaches to it at the present day. It was the 
central emporium of a commerce which in turn 
enriched every country of Western Asia, elevated 
the merchants of Tjrre to the rank of princes, 
fostered the renown of the Ptolemies, rendered 
the wealth and the precious products of Arabia 
a gorgeous mystery, freighted the Tigris with 
"barbaric pearl and gold," and identified the 
merchants of Bagdad and the mariners of Bassora 
with associations of adventure and romance. Yet, 
strange to say, the native Singhalese appear to 
have taken no part whatever in this exciting and 

^ Cf. Ma Tuan-lin's chapter on "The Country of Lions" (jskih-tzd- 
kuo 65 ^, H = Ceylon), ch. 338, p. 26; transl. Julien, in Journ, 
Asiat., 1836, Vol. XXIX, p. 36 (quoted in Tennent's Ceylon, Vol. I, p. 
587, note 3). 

a Ceylon, Vol. I. pp. 534 and 587, where Fa Hsien's account is 
quoted from Remusat's translation. 

3 U., Vol. I, p. 568. 


enriching commerce; their name is never mentioned 
in connection with the immigrant races attracted 
by it to their shores, and the only allusions of tra- 
vellers to the indigenous inhabitants of the island 
are in connection with a custom so remarkable 
and so peculiar as at once to identify the tribes 
to whom it is ascribed with the remnant of the 
aboriginal race of Veddahs, whose descendants still 
haunt the forests in the east of Ceylon." 

** Such is the aversion of this untamed race to 
any intercourse with civilised life, that when in 
want of the rude implements essential to their 
savage economy, they repair by night to the nearest 
village on the confines of their hunting-fields, and 
indicating by well-understood signs and models the 
number and form of the articles required, whether 
arrow-heads, hatchets, or cloths, they deposit an 
equivalent portion of dried deer's flesh or honey 
near the door of the dealer, and retire unseen to 
the jungles, returning by stealth within a reasonable 
time, to carry away the manufactured articles, 
which they find placed at the same spot, in ex- 

"This singular custom has been described with- 
out variation by numerous writers on Ceylon, both 
in recent and remote times." ^ "Concurrent 
testimony, to the same effect, is found in the recital 
of the Chinese Buddhist, Fa Hsien, who in the 
third century describes, in his travels, the same 
strange peculiarity of the inhabitants in those days, 

1 For quotations, see Tennent, p. 569 with Notes 1-4 on that page. 


whom he also designates " demons," who deposited, 
unseen, the precious articles which they come 
down to barter with the foreign merchants resorting 
to their shores." ^ 

"The chain of evidence is rendered complete by 
a passage in Pliny, which, although somewhat 
obscure (facts relating to the Seres being confounded 
with statements regarding Ceylon), nevertheless 
serves to show that the custom in question was then 
well known to the Singhalese ambassadors sent to 
the Emperor Claudius, and was also familiar to the 
Greek traders resorting to the island, etc., etc." 

The analysis of the various accounts we possess 
of the country of Fu-lin, t.e.j the Ta-ts4n of the 
middle ages, shows that we have to distinguish 
between two classes of statements made in them, 
viz. : — 

1st, statements which have appeared already in 
the previous accounts of Ta-ts4n, and 
which we must, therefore, assume to 
have been transferred thence by the 
compilers of the new accounts ; 

ind, statements which have been newly intro- 
duced from contemporaneous sources. 

If we deduct from these mediaeval records all 

^ A footnote on p. 570 of the work quoted contains a full record 
of Chinese passages repeating, or alluding to, the same account. I 
may add to these the passages referred to in our Ta-ts'in and Fq-lin 
accounts L 38, Q 51 and R 31, 


old Ta-ts4n information, that w.hich remains bears 
a certain characteristic stamp which I feel inclined 
to describe as ** ecclesiastical." It is the merit of 
Mr. George Phillips to have first drawn attention 
to this, in my opinion the only reasonable, expla- 
nation we may attempt of the Fu-lin mystery.^ 

<^ The so-called *'King of Fu-lin" must be an 
I ecclesiastical ruler. For, the king who has a 
tunnel built from his palace to his church, who 
rarely goes out, but every seventh day performs 
divine service with the assistance of over fifty attend- 
ants (R 16-17), and who sends priests to China as tri- 
bute-bearers (K 39),^ cannot be a worldly monarch. 
High church dignitaries, such as any of the pa- 

1 I refer to Mr. Phillips' unpretending note: " Supposed Mention in 
Chinese History of the Nestorian Missions to China in the 7th and 
8th Centuries/' on p. 412 in Vol. VII of the China Review ^ in which 

f the author says with regard to the embassy of A.D. 719: "To me it 
seems that this Ta-t^-seng gives us the key as to whom the other 
Envoys were, and I am inclined to think that the Envoys recorded in 
the T'ang books as coming from Fu-lin were missionaries of the 

\_Nestorian Church." The connection between one of the Fu-lin 
missions and the arrival of Nestorian missionaries in China as recorded 
on the Nestorian Inscription had been already conjectured by Yule 
iCathay, etc., Vol. I, pp. LXIV-LXV). 

2 The Ta-te-setigf sent in A.D. 720. It is by no means insigni- 
ficant that these priests were sent, or at least allowed to go with 
tribute, at a time when a Khalif who was known for his liberality 
as regards disbelievers, had just taken charge of the government from 
the hands of rulers more or less inimical to Christianity. Omar the 
Second followed his cousin Soleiman in A.D. 717; he died in A.D. 720 
near Emesa, about 70 miles south of Antioch, on Syrian soil, where he 
probably spent some time during his reign. Seng, though generally 
meaning a Buddhist priest, may be a priest of any religion if applied 
to western countries, just as the Khoran is called ^ S> Fo-ching, 
i,e., Buddha's Canon, elsewhere (see Yuan-chien-Ui-han, ch. 238, p. 35, 


triarchs in the east, commanded a powerful position 
amongst the people belonging to their community. 
Their religious zeal would excuse any exaggeration 
of their worldly influence vis-ct-vis the distant 
nations amongst whom they wished to propagate 
the Christian faith. The Nestorian patriarchs dis- 
tinguished themselves at an early period by the z6al 
with which they carried on missionary work in Cen- 
tral and Eastern Asia, and China must have appeared 
to them a field worthy of their best efforts. The I 
Chinese emperor Yang-ti of the Sui dynasty (A.D. 
605-617), who extended his conquests far beyond 
the limits of the empire of his fathers, tried in 
vain to open intercourse with Fu-lin (K 33). In^ 
doing so, this enterprising monarch may have been 
guided by the wish to see some of the Nestorian 
scholars at his court ; for his capital, Lo-yang-fu, 
had, at his instance, become a place of assembly 
for all the first savants of the eastern world, 
including Taoists and Buddhists. It was not^ 
until the second ruler of the T^ang dynasty,"^ 
T'ai-tsung (A.D. 627 to 650), had ascended the 
throne that the first Nestorian. missionary, by name 
of 0-lo-p6n, arrived in China. 0-lo-p6n, who as we 

in the article concerning Medina). Ta-te-seng, nowcvc, is the priest 
of a Christian sect, as I conclude from the text of the inscription of 
Si-a7i-fUy where it is used as an honorary epithet in connection with 
the personal names of certain Nestorians, e.g., ta-te O-lo-pen, "the 
Most-virtuous Alopun" (Wylie), something like the English "Reve- 
rend" or "Venerable." We may be justified, therefore, to translate 
Ta-te-seng by " Nestorian priest." In Buddhistic works, the term is 
used for bhadanta^ a title like Reverend, given to Buddhist priests 
(Williams, Syll. Diet., p. 871; cf. Giles, Buddh. Kingdoms, p. 100: "a 
distinguished shaman "). 


know from the Nestorian stone inscription, arrived 
in Ch*ang-an, the present Hsi-an-fu, in the year 
636 A.D.,^ was well received at the Chinese court; 
the religious books he had brought with him were 
translated under Imperial auspices and, with all 
the facilities granted to that "luminous religion of 

Ta-ts*in*' {Ta-tsHn-ching-chiao 'f^^^ ^) after 
its first introduction in China, 0-lo-p6n had become 
the precursor of a series of missions extending 

r^over several centuries. It was through these 
Nestorian pioneers, I presume, that the accounts 
of Fu-lin, which country, geographically, coincided 
^with the ancient Ta-ts4n, were brought to China. 
The name Ta-ts4n had, as a matter of prudence, 
been revived by these missionaries who were per- 
fectly correct in stating that the Ta-ts4n so well 
known amongst the Chinese from the accounts of 
their classical histories was the country they came 
from ; they were further correct in stating that the 
founder of their religion was born in Ta-ts'in;^ 
Fu-lin was merely another name for Ta-ts4n intro- 
duced by the Nestorians, an4 these may have said 
to the Chinese: "We come from the place where 
the Messias is born; the name of this place is Fu- 
lin, and it lies in the country known to you as Ta- 

iC ts4n." The name Fu-lin appears to have been first 
used at about the time when 0-lo-p6n arrived. I 
cannot, at least, discover any earlier mention of it 
than that in an account of Persia, appended to the 

y Cf. Pauthier, V Inscription de Si-ngan-fou, pp. 13 and 13, 
3 Jhid^ pp. 8 and 9, 


Suts/iUj the history of the Sui dynasty, compiled 
during the reign of T*ai-tsung, in which Persia is 
stated to be bounded in the north-east by Fu-lin. 
Yiian-chuang's work, the Ta-i^ang-Asi-yu-cht] 
which was completed in A.T>. 646, coiitains a 
similar mention, but the name is there ^ written 

^ ^ @ Fu-lin-kuo. I may add that this /in ^ is 

identical in sound with hn 5^. The old sound of 

the two characters fu and izn ^ ^ was most 
probably not po-lin^ as those who wish to refer it to 
the Greek iroKw would like to make it ; nor fu-lan^ 
which would suit the defenders of the "Frank" 
etymology.^ It seems to me that here, if an3nvhere, 

1 Ch. XI, p. 23. The Yen-pao-tan-yu ({g ^ #^ ^), quoted in 
the Ko'Chih-ching-yuan, ch. 33, p. 31, has preserved under the name of 
Fo-lin (^ j^) an account which I have no doubt refers to our Fu- 
lin. It says that " when the ambassadors from Fo-lin came to court 
[the embassy referred to arrived during the period Ching-yu, J|t 9{f, 
asA.D. 1034 to 1038, as I conclude from K'ang-hsi's quotation of the 
same passage, s,v, ^jn, Rad. Q , p. 20], they stated that this state at 
the time had ceased to exist. Its territory was very extensive; that it 
was under seventy- two leaders (jchiu-chang § ;§)/ there was in the 
country a "quicksilver-sea" with a circuit of about 40 or 50 li," etc., etc. 
I shall refrain from quoting the account of the manner of obtaining 
the quicksilver, occupying about half a page in the Ko-chih-ching-yuatif 
as it apparently throws no light on the subject. The Ko'chik-ching- 
yuatif ch. 35, p. 19, has a quotation from the same work (.Yen-pao'tan- 
yU) in connection with Fu-lin coins, apparently a transcript of the 

passage N 16 ; and there the name appears as Fu-lin ( jfb ^)* 

2 Various more or less unhappy suggestions have been made with 
regard to the origin of the name Fu-lin. Pauthier QDe rAutheniiciti, 
etc., p. 42, Note 3) follows the example of Mr. Jaquet, who had long 
before him (^Nouv. Journ. Asial,, Vol. IX, 1832, p. 456 seq., quoted by 
von Richthofen, C/ttfia, Vol. I, p. 535) advanced the derivation from, 
the Greek accusative •jtoX.iv as part of the expression cts rrfv Trokiv^ 
alleged to have been originally used as a name for the capital Constan- 


Dr. Edkins may be trusted as a guide with regard 
to the old sound. The phonetic value given by 

tinople, and supposed to survive in the Turkish htanbiil. True 
barbarians they must have been, the mediaeval Constantinopolitans, 
who could reply to the question: "where do you live/' by cts Tf\v 
However, this etymology seems to be universally recognised since 
Sir Wm. Ouseley, in his Travels (Vol. Ill, p. 573) has shown some 
parallel cases, and it may pass as far as Istanbul is concerned, although 
Sadik Isfahdni (transl. J. C. for Orient. Transl. Fund, London, 1832, 
p. 7) maintains that this word in the Turkish language signifies, " you 
will find (there) whatever you wish." To connect, however, the 
sound polin with our I'u-iifi, is not much belter than Visdelou's Hellen 
(d'Herbelot, BihL Orient.^ Vol. IV, p. 423; cL Neumann, Asiat, Studien, 
p. 172). Bretschneider iArabSy etc., p. 23) shows that he was well 
aware of the old sound of the first syllable having been bot; and 
yet he agreed (/.c.) to Jaquet's conjecture. In a later work (JliedicBval 
Travellers^ etc., p. 86, Note 131) the same author is at some pains to 
defend the connection between " Fu-lin " (said to have been pronounced 
fu-lan) and the word ''Frank" which, according to von Richthofen 
{China f Vol. I, p. 535) was believed in by de Guignes, and which has 
been recently revived by Dr. O. F. von MoellendorfF (jChina Review y ' 
Vol. VI, p. 349). It seems not out of place to refute in detail an error 
so persistently recurring. As I have stated above, the Chinese 
name Fu-lin occurs in works written during the first half of the 
7th century iSui-shu and Hstian Chuang's Journeys, cf. Introduction, 
p. 17), i.e,, at a time when in my opinion the word /rank cannot 
possibly have been known in the east. I doubt whether anyone can 
find an authority speaking of Europeans as Franks much earlier 
than the loth century A.D. Gibbon (Chap. LIII, Wm. Smith, 
Vol. VII, p. 33) speaks of the end of that century when he remarks: 
" A name of some German tribes between the Rhine and the Weser 
had spread its victorious influence over the greatest part of Gaul, 
Germany, and Italy ; and the common appelation of FRANKS was 
applied by the Greeks and Arabians to the Christians of the Latin 
Church, the nations of the West, who stretched beyond their knowledge 
to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean." To support his view of the 
use of this term in a period anterior to the Crusades, Gibbon quotes 
from Liutprand in Legal, ad Imp, Nicephorum [p. 483 seq.]: "ex 
Francis, quo nomine tam Latinos quam Teutones comprehendit, 
ludum habuit." "This extension of the name," Gibbon says, " may be 

iDENtiFICAtlONS. 289 

his authority^ to the character /as^ ^ is but^ and as 
this character, according to native dictionaries, 
belongs to the same phonetic group as fo ^^ 
Buddha, which represents the first syllable bud in 
this Indian name, and is pronounced fat in 
Cantonese, and butsu in Japanese, there is appa- 
rently sufficient evidence for assuming its old 
sound to have been but^ and not po or fu. The 
second character, lin (5^) belongs to a phonetic 
group the final of which, in the southern dialects, 
is m; it is pronounced Idm in Cantonese and 
Hm in the Amoy dialect. The old sound of the 
name Fu-lin may, therefore, be safely assumed 
to have been But-Hm or But4dm.^ 

Having thus shown the probable old sound of 
the name, I come back to what I suppose to be its 
origin. Just as the Nestorians actually said in their 
celebrated stone inscription: "we come from the 
land where the Lord is bom; and the Lord is 

confirmed from Constantine {jie Administrando Imperio^ I. ii, c. 27, 28) 
and Eutychius {Anna!., tom I, p. 55, 56), who both lived before 
the Crusades. The testimonies of Abulpharagius (^Dynast, p. 69) 
and Abulfeda {Prcefat, ad Geograph,) are more recent." Liutprand, 
who, in the work quoted by Gibbon, describes the impressions he 
received from the court of Constantinople during his mission thither in 
A.D. 968, was born about A.D. 922. Constantine was bom in A.D. 905, 
and Eutychius, the Alexandrian patriarch (alias Said Ibn Batrik), was 
bom in A.D. Zy6, 

1 Ch'ien Ta-hsin (S;^B!f )* '^^ Ws work Shih-ehia'Chai-yang-hsin' 

/» (i" «% @ SI if ^)* See Edkins, Mandarin Grammar (second 
edition, Shanghai, 1874), p. 92. 

2 Cf. Notes and Queries, Vol. IV, p. 8. 


born in Ta-ts'in,"^ they may have also said: 
"We come from the land where the Lord 
is bom; and the Lord is bom in Bethle- 
hem," the sound of which name could not be 
better represented than by the two syllables 
which constitute the name Fu-lin, then pro- 
nounced BuUUm. To see the name of the town 
of Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah, 
extended to the country to which it belongs, is by 
no means singular if we consider that this was 
done by religious enthusiasts who must have 
thought it a great privilege to come from the 
Holy Land. Moreover, the fact would be in 
perfect analogy with the Buddhistic usage accor- 
ding to which the name Magadha (0 t&V 1%)' 
originally the birthplace of Buddha, was applied 
to the whole of India during the T'ang dynasty.* 

Visdelou (d'Herbelot, Bihl Or., Vol. IV, p. 423) 
may not have been so very wrong in comparing 

the name Hua-lin (^ j^ in the Nestorian 
Inscription (M i), which I have translated by 
"the flowery groves," to the name Fu-lin. If 
it could be proved that the old sound of these 
two characters was wa-lim or ba-lim^ if not wdt- 
Um or hdt'lim, it might look as if the term 
hsien-ching hua-lin (f|i| ^ ^ ^) could be 
translated by " the angelic region of Bethlehem," 

1 Pauthier, V Inscription ^ etc., p. 13, § ii and p. 7, § 6: ^ "sfr jB 
S ]K ifc ^, '' a virgin gave birth to the holy one at Ta-ts'in." 

a The Hsin-Vang-shu (Lieh-chuan JfJ J5 ch. 146, p. 23) introduces 
this name as an equivalent of T'ien-chu-kuo 5^ ^ B> '•^•r^nciia. 


which indeed occupied the west of Ta-ts4n (Syria, 
Sham; c/.L s and note, Q 41, R 24) just as the "coral 
sea'* made the southern, and the Chung-pao-shan (the 
Taurus range) the northern, and '*the Long Winds" 
and "the Weak Water*' the eastern, boundary, 
I do not know what the " Long Winds " could 
possibly mean in the east of Syria; but the " Weak 
Water " may apply to the Euphrates owing to an 
association with the mythological J-o-shui of the 
Chinese which, like the Euphrates, could be navi- 
gated upon in skin-boats. I may here be allowed 
a departure from the subject in hand, in order to 
correct a very common misunderstanding which 
has led to the identification of the " Weak Water" 
with the Dead Sea. "Weak Water" is not so 
called on account of buoyancy ; for, buoyant 
water is rather strong than weak. Herodotus 
(lib. Ill, 23) describes a fountain in -^Ethiopia, 
the water of which is so weak (v^w/) aa-Oeveg 
= j^ tJc) that nothing is able to float upon 
it, neither wood nor such things as are lighter 
than wood, but everything sinks to the bottom," 
and the Paradoxographus Vaticanus Rohdii (see 
Rerum Naturalium Scrip tores Greed Minor es^ 
ed. O. Keller, c. XXXVI, on p. no of Vol. I) 
speaks of a spring called Sille, in India, €(^' h 

Tct eXacjyporara Karawovrl^eTai {Cf. Strab., C. 703). 

This is indeed the sense in which the Chinese 
understand their ^o-shui. The first mention of the 
"Weak Water" is apparently made in the YU-kung 
(I, 10, 72, Legge, p. 123 and Note on p. 124): 


"The Weak Water was conducted westwards. 
The king was led to mingle its waters with those 
of the Wei (river)." Ts*ai-ch*6n, commenting on 
this passage, quotes the poet Liu Tsung-jriian (A.D. 
773-819) who says: " In the hills (islands or lands) 
on the western sea there is a water (river) 
spreading out and having no strength (coherence) ; 
it does not carry even a trifling object, and 
whatever is put on its surface will drop down to 
the bottom and remain there, — whence it is called 
*Weak Water.'" As described in the Yil-kung^ the 
Jo-shui must have been a river, and not a lake; 
it was near the western boundary of China, which 
at that time meant as much as the western 
terminus of the world. Ts'ai-ch'6n goes on to 
quote from other authorities a number of passages 
relating to the Weak Water {cf. the exhaustive 
notes in the T^ung-chien-kang-mUy ch. 25, under 
6th year of W6n-ti of the anterior Sung, p. 9), 
and in due course mentions the Jo-shui of T'iao- 
chih; *'and ajs this country is yet over a hundred 
days distant from a place 12,200 li west of 
Ch'ang-an (Hsi-an-fu),*' he argues, "it cannot be 
identical with the Weak Water of the Yu-kungy 
The Weak Water, as well as the other terms 
usually mentioned together with it, the Hsi-wang- 
mu, the Red Water {Ch^ih-shui) and the Flying 

Sands {LtU'Shd)^ appear in very old Chinese legends, 
and although it would be a fruitless task to 
ascertain their actual whereabouts {cf. Mayers, 
Manual^ Nos. 236, 330 and 572), so much is 


certain, that these imaginary abodes of a fairy 
queen were, according to the ideas of the original 
legend-writers, neither in T'iao-chih nor in Ta-ts*in. 
But it looks as if ancient reports received in China 
from those countries contained certain features 
recalling associations connected with the still earlier 
Hsi-wang-mu legends. I have drawn attention to 
the navigation of the Euphrates as one of the 
points of contact. Legge {Shoo king^ p. 124) adds 
to his note on the Weak Water: "Some accounts 
say that it can be crossed in coracles of skin, etc." 
I am indebted to Mr. Kingsmill for the suggestion 
that the Hsi-wang-mu legends moved farther west 
in the imagination of the Chinese in the same 
degree in which geographical discovery opened 
up new countries in that direction of the compass; 
they occupied indeed the terra incognita beyond 
the western boundary of the world known by the 
Chinese at the several periods of antiquity. This will 
account for all these utopianisms being stated again 
to exist in the west of Ta-ts4n (E 34, I 21, eta). 

We read in both the T^ang-sku (K 34 and 
L 41), and in Ma Tuan-lin (Q 66) that a mission 
was sent to China from Fu-lin in A.D. 643 by the 
king of Fu-lin, Po-to-li. Who was Po-to-li? This 
name has indeed, ever since the T^ang-shu account 
became known in Europe, been a great puzzle to 
western sinologues. Pauthier {V Inscription^ etc., 
p. 48) sees in it the name of Pope Theodorus. 
Bretschneider is at a loss how to. explain it, as 


Constantinople, at that time, was the residence 
of the emperor Heraclius Constans. I venture to 
submit the following solution to the judgment of 
those who maintain that etymologies are essential 
in the identification of historical and geographical 
accounts, and in doing so, I merely follow the exam- 
ple of Mr. Phillips who, indeed, made the very 
same suggestion years ago {China Review^ Vol. 
VII, p. 414). 

The old pronunciation of this name was pro- 
bably Bat'da-lik (the modern Cantonese sound is: 
Po'tO'lik)] and this, in default of any prominent 
personage being mentioned under a similar name in 
that period of the history of Syria, I consider as 
the Chinese form of Arabic Bathric. D'Herbelot 
{Bibl. Orient.y Vol. I, p. 380) says: ^^ Bathrik et 
Bathriraky dont le pluriel est Batharekah^ signifie 
en Arab, Persien et Turc, le Patriarche des Chr6- 
tiens de chaque Secte et de chaque Eglise." It is 
further stated by d'Herbelot that, at the council of 
Constantinople held under Theodosius the Great 
in A.D. 381, the rank of the patriarchs, the spiritual 
rulers over large countries, was fixed, and that the 
patriarch of Antioch was to rank fourth amongst 
five {viz.y those of Rome, Constantinople, Alexan- 
dria, Antioch, and Jerusalem). 

There is, however, one doubtful point in this 
assumption: the "patriarch of Antioch" was a 
Catholic, and the Nestorian patriarch may not have 
resided at the capital (Antioch), but at Edessa 
or some other city in the neighbourhood. This 


doubt is somewhat alleviated by the fact that 
our account of Po-to-li's mission refers to the 
period following the Arab conquest; that the 
Catholic patriarchate of Antioch and the sees of 
Jerusalem and Alexandria remained practically 
unoccupied after the Arab occupation for the rea- 
son that their possessors, living in the Greek 
empire, were merely titulars.^ I am not able to 
say whether the heads of the Nestorian church 
were allowed by the Arabs to reside at Antioch, 
and if they were, whether they made use of the 
privilege; but, even if this has not been the case, 
they certainly resided in Syria, and had no reason 
to contradict the traditions they found in China 
with regard to the capital of Syria or Ta-ts4n. 
The Nestoriaiis held such an influential position at 
the courts of the Khalifs and their satraps that 
the part attributed to them as mediators between 
the west and the far east would have met with 
no difficulty from a political point of view. 

The siege of the capital of Fu-lin, as men- 
tioned in the Chiu-Vang-shu (K 35) and in the 
Hsin-Vang'Shu (L 42 and 43) Is described in 
a text narrating certain historical facts in a chro- 
nological series. In the first-named work, the 
facts stated appear in the following order: 

I. The emperor Yang-ti wishes to communi- 
cate with Fu-lin, A.D. 605-617, (K 33). 

1 Gieseler, Eccles, Hist.f transl. S. Davidson, Edinb., 1848, Vol. 11, 
p. 172. 

i()6 iDENtlFIcAtlONS. 

2. An embassy is sent to China in A.D, 643 

(K 34). 

3. Tike capital of Fu-ltn is besieged by the 

Arahs^ and finally submits to Arab rule 


4. An embassy is sent to China in A.D. 667 

(K 36). 

5. An embassy is sent in A.D. 701 (K 37), 

6. An embassy is sent in A.D. 719 (K 38). 

Although no date is mentioned in connection 
with the siege of the Fu-lin capital, the strictly 
chronological order in which these facts are 
enumerated in the T'ang annals, clearly shows that 
the event referred to must have taken place 
previous to A.D. 667. Its being mentioned 
immediately after the embassy of A.D. 643 strongly 
suggests that the news regarding the political 
change having taken place in the country was 
brought to China by that embassy, and that the 
siege actually took place previous to A.D. 643. 
The first siege of Constantinople by the Arabs 
began in A.D. 668 and lasted till A.D. 675, and 
although this city escaped conquest likewise by 
the payment of tribute, the account in the T^ang- 
shu cannot refer to it owing to this diflference 
in time ; moreover, Constantinople has never 
become subject to the Arabs as the capital of 
Fu-lin has according to the Chinese record. On 
the other hand, Antioch was besieged by the 
Arabs in A.D. 638 ; the " Queen of the East " 
had to ranspm the preservation of life and religious 


freedom by the payment of tribute, and became 
a provincial city of the Khalif empire/ 

The C/nu-t^ang-'Sku (ch. 198, lieh-chuan 148), 
in the account of Ta-shih, p. 20) says that the 
Arabs or Ta-shih **got into the possession of grain 
and flour ( i.e., grain-producing countries ) on 
having defeated Po-ssu (Persia) and Fu-lin in the 
beginning of the period Lung-so (=A.D. 661)."' 
This passage shows clearly that the conquest of 
Fu-lin was concluded in the year referred to; it 
is the year in which Muavia had, after a long 
struggle for supreme power, become sole master 
of the Khalif empire, i.e., of Persia and Syria 
with Egypt. The passage may involve that the 
capital of Fu-lin had been in the hands of the 
Arabs some time previously; but it excludes in 
my opinion the assumption of its siege and 
conquest after the year 661. 

In the Sung'shu and the Chu-fan-ckth we find 
Fu-lin described as a province or satrapy of the 
Seldjuk empire. It is very probable that the 

1 The Arab General sent against Antioch is in both versions of 
the T'ang annals (K 35, L 42) called Mo-i, which name is clearly the 
equivalent of that of Muavia, who was born about A.D. 600, and became 
governor of Syria in A.D. 644. History mentions the generals Abu 
Ubetda and Chalid as charged with the conquest of Antioch, and I am 
at a loss how to explain the Chinese statement. I am at present not 


in the position to say whether Muavia could have possibly taken part 
in the conquest. 


Nestorian see had then been removed, perhaps 
to Edessa; for, south-east of it, you go to Mieh-li- 
sha, and north and west a considerable journey 
is to be performed, in order to reach the sea (N i). 
The name Mieh-li-sha (old sound: Mi-lik-sha) 
cannot possibly be misunderstood. It is the name 
ojF the Sultan Milikshah who then {i.e., at the 
time .when the Sung embassy arrived in China, or 
A.D. 1081 ) was the most powerful ruler m the west 

of Asia ana whose capital was at Baghdad. The cha- 
racters mieh'li (j)^ >^) represent in this name the 
Arab word milik or melek, and this will furnish us 
the key for reading the other mysterious name in 
the passage N 3, Mieh-li-i-ling-kai-sa. This, I con- 
jecture, is the name of one of the diadochs who 
had taken possession of Syria as vassals of the 
Sultan. De Guignes {Hist, des Huns, III, p. 162) 
gives the following account with regard to the titles 
Sultan and Malek (or Melek): When Mahmud 
(the Ghaznavide) came back to Ghazna with the 
title Ghazi or * Conqueror' (in A.D. 1002), he had 
to make war against Khalaf, the governor of a 
neighbouring province, who finally submitted, ad- 
dressing Mahmud by the title of Sultan, "et ce 
titre jusqu' alors inconnu devint en usage parmi les 
princes Mahometans; il plut k Mahmoud qui le 
porta le premier. Auparavant les princes pre- 
naient celui de Malek ou de Roi. Dans la suite 

celui-ci s'avilit et ne fut plus donne qu* ^ des 
princes tributaires et soumis aux sultans.*' Such is 
the mutual relation of the two rulers mentioned in 


the accounts of the Sung dynasty. The king of 
the Ta-shih, who is styled su-tan (sultan) and who 
sends tribute (R i8), was probably a Seldjuk ruler, 
as the title Sultan was not in use before the year 
A.D. 1002. The tribute paid by him to the 
country of Fu-lin would in this place not have 
to be looked upon as a sign of submission, but 
as the necessary support which a feudal lord lends 
his representative on a minor throne ; this view is 
supported by the remark that the Ta-shih (here 
Seldjuk) army has to restore order when trouble 
arises in the kingdom of the ruler of Fu-lin, who is 
given the title Melek, denoting at this time a 
*^prince tributaire.'' The King of Fu-lin, whom the 
mission arriving at the court of China in A.D. 108 1 
called their lord, and who was styled Mieh-li-i-ling- 
kai-sa,^ must have been a Melek, i.e.^ one of the Seld- 
juk satraps, perhaps Tutusch, the Sultan's brother, 
or Soliman, who were both made subkings (Melek) 
by the Sultan in A.D. 1078. This somewhat 
lengthy name mentioned in the Sung-shih (N 3) 
has been referred by de Guignes (/.c, I, 67), and 
with him by Pauthier, Bretschneider and others, 
to ** Michael VII Parapinaces," emperor at Con- 
stantinople, and the Chinese expression has been 
explained as the equivalent of the words '* Michael 
Caesar." I cannot understand how so many erudite 
scholars could repeat such a suggestion. For, the 
monarch referred to had, in the first instance,. 

* Bretschneider reads sha J^ for i fjJ, for which I can find no 
authority. (^See note i on p. 62). 


abdicated <he had not died as de Guignes says, I.€.) 
in A.D. 1078; and 1078 is not 108 1; and then 
we may fairly ask : what relation ,can there be 
between the sounds Michael and Mi-li-i-ling, except 
their both beginning with the syllable mt'} I 
have no doubt that the syllables Kai-sa, at the 
end of the Chinese term, have induced many to 
declare that it can only apply to the Caesar of 
the Roman Empire, for the similarity of these two 
syllables with Greek Kaia-ap is indeed very sugges- 
tive. But the defenders of this theory forget 
that, since the Arab conquest of Syria and other 
Roman provinces, the Roman emperor was not 
the only ruler claiming this title. D'Herbelot, 
Btbi. Orient, s. v. Caissar, says: **Les Historiens 
Orientaux donnent souvent par anticipation le 
titre de Caissar aux princes qui ont poss6d6 
les pays, que les Empereurs Romains et Grecs 
ont depuis conquis dans I'Asie/' As the recog- 
nised king in a formerly Roman province, the 
representative of Milikshah would have been right 
from a Seldjuk point of view, in assuming this 
title, which may possibly stand for the words 
"Melek-i-Rfim Kaisar," ue.j **under-king of Rftm 
and Caesar." King of Rftm was, indeed, the title 
of Soliman, whose residence was at Iconium in 
Asia Minor. 

The articles offered by this embassy are charac- 
teristic of the country as well as of the time in 
which they were brought. They consisted in 
saddled horses, swords, and real pearls, — articles 


peculiar to the industry of Syria, where the city 
of Damascus was renowned for its saddlery as well 
as especially for its sword-blades. Damask blades 
became celebrated in Europe through the traffic 
existing with those parts during the Crusades, but 
this industry dates as far back as the reign of 
Domitian, z>., the end of the first century A.D. 
We need not wonder, therefore, to find swords 
amongst the fang-wu or local produce of Fu-lin. 
The city of Damask had since the Arab conquest 
taken the place of Antioch, whose grandeur 
had sunk into insignificance after its fall. Omar, 
the second Khalif, resided there and in Mekka; 
and Muavia and his successors made it their 
capital from A.D. 660-753. This somewhat 
explains the importance of Syria amongst the 
Khaiif possessions. Though merely one of the 
many subjected Arab states, this province was 
destined to keep up the connection between 
the West and the Far East just as it had 
represented the Roman Empire centuries before. 
We may say, in a few words, Ta-tsHn was Sjrria 
as a JRoman province; Fu-lin was Sjrria as an 
Arab province during the T^ang dynasty, and 
as a Seldjuk province during the Sung dynasty. 

We read in the Hsin-t^ ang-shu (L 34; cf. Q 61) 

that the physicians of Fu-lin could open the brain 

and extract worms, in order to cure blindness (Jit 

Jilm of the eyes). This art of opening the brain is 

most probably the art of trepanning not known 


in its application to eye-diseases by the Chinese of 
those days, although the opening of skulls for other 
purposes appears to have been practised at very 
early times in China as well as in several other 
parts of the world. Mr. Giles draws my attention 
to a passage in the San-kuo-chih novel, according 
to which Hua T'o (|j^ |XK), a well-known physician 
of the second century, the ^sculapius of China 
(Mayers, Manual^ No. 209) cured the great Ts*ao 
Ts*ao of a cerebral disease by opening his skull. 
Mayers (/. c.) calls it acupuncture, and I am not 
prepared to say whether it was an operation 
in the sense of what is now called trepanning. 
A trepanned skull was found in an Inca ceme- 
tery, from which fact it may be concluded 
that the art was at least not unknown in this 
secluded civilisation {see E; G. Squier, Peru: 
Incidents of Travel and Exploration in the Land 
of the Incas^ New York, 1877, pp. 457 and 577). 
Broca, the well-known Paris anthropologist, 
has even drawn attention to the traces of tre- 
panning executed by means of stones on human 
skulls found in graves of the ante-metallic period 
{Archives Generales de Medecine^ ^^11 y Vol. II, 
p. 376). The art was, in ancient times, quite 
at home in Asia, and probably more so here than 
in Italy, as I conclude from a remark made by 
Galen {.Method. Medend. VI, 6 sub fin.) who, while 
describing various methods that may be adopted 
in opening the skull, speaks of a particular treat- 
ment after the operation practised by an old phy- 


sician called Eudemus, and remarks that he (Galen) 
might have had some experience therein, had he 
been all his time in Asia, and not spent most of it 
in Rome. Smyrna, where Galen pursued his 
Asiatic studies, must have seen many bold opera- 
tions long before the Fu-lin period, and Syrian 
physicians practising the art at that time would be 
no curiosity, if the Chinese account did not add 
that, '*by extracting worms they could cure blind- 
ness." The worms we may assume have been added 
by the imagination of the Chinese author; the cure 
of blindness by trepanning, however, if not eflfected 
often, has at least been described. Hippocrates 
(IlejoJ i/oi/cTft)!/, Littr6 VII, 26) speaks of cases in which 
a kind of brain disease complicated with pain about 
the eyes, in which the patient aiJLfiXvwararei^ and fi Kop^j 
a")^l^€Tai^ Koi SoK€€i €ic Tov €1/09 Suo opoLv^ aud which, if all 
other treatment fails, is cured by trepanning; and in 
his book on vision (Jiep\ 0^10^^ ch. 8) he recommends 
a similar process in the case of amaurosis. I quote 
from Littr6*s French text (Vol. IX, p. 159): 
**Lorsque la vue se perd sans maladie apparente 
des yeux, il faut pratiquer une incision k la region 
pari^tale, diss^quer les parties moUes, trepaner /'os, 
et 6vacuer le liquide 6panch6; c'est 1^ le traite- 

ment, et c'est ainsi que ces malades gu^rissent." 
I am not able to decide whether such patients 
could possibly recover ; but so much seems certain, 
that, whether actually practised or not, the art of 
curing some kind of blindness by trepanning was 
believed to have existed by those who supplied the 


information regarding Fu4in to the court annalists 
of the T'ang. This comes in very well with our 
view that all the first embassies sent from Fu-lin 
during the T*ang dynasty were carried out by 
Nestorian missionaries. The Nestorians enjoyed a 
great reputation in Western Asia on account of 
their medical skill, and what brings them even into 
closer contact with the somewhat singular theory 
that blindness may be cured by trepanning, is that 
they translated Greek medical works into the Arab 
language and may be fairly supposed to have been 
acquainted with the remarks Hippocrates made on 
the subject. D'Herbelot (Vol. I, p. 352), speaking 
of the three Christian physicians Baktischua, says: 
'*Ils 6taient S)Tiens de nation, et ont traduit 
plusieurs livres Grecs et Syriens en Arabe, etc." 
The Baktischua flourished in the 8th, 9th and 
loth centuries A.D. 

Just as the Chinese annals contain records of 
alleged embassies from western monarchs which, 
on close examination, we had to declare to have 
been private missions, allusions to Chinese em- 
bassies to Rome may be found in Roman authors, 
which, if approached in the same critical spirit, 
may be shown never to have been sent by the 
monarch from whom they alleged to come. 

Eusebius {Vti. Const. I, IV, c. 50, quoted in 
Gibbon, Chap. XVIII) speaks of an Indian em- 
bassy to the court of Constantine the Great (died 


A.D. 337), which may possibly be referred to 

China. He ** remarks three circumstances relative 

*to these Indians: i. They came from the 

* shores of the eastern ocean; a description 
'which might be applied to the coast of China 
*or Coromandel. 2. They presented shining 
*gems, and unknown animals. 3. They pro- 

* tested their kings had erected statues to represent 
'the supreme majesty of Constantine." This 

embassy must have arrived during the reign 
of Ch*6ng-ti of the eastern Chin dynasty <A.D. 
326--335) who ascended the throne when a 
child. It appears that Chinese annals are as 
silent on this point as Roman records are on 
the various missions to China mentioned in 
Chinese historical works. I have at least looked 
in vain for anything like an allusion to it in the 
T'ung'Chien'kang-mu covering that period. It is 
hardly necessary to take the same trouble with 
regard to the Seres stated in Florus' Epitome 
(IV, 12) to have been amongst the envoys of all 
countries who came to the court of Augustus {see 
Yule, Cathay^ Vol. I, p. XLII), as the Chinese 
Annals clearly insinuate that Kan Ying (A.D. 98) 
was the first Chinese who ever penetrated as far 
west as T'iao-chih. The Chinese are, and have 
at all times been, so well at home in their own 
literature, that we may depend on this statement 
as a proof at least of no similar mission being 
mentioned in any recognised record as having gone 
further west previous to Kan Ying; and this again 
implies that no Chinese has proceeded to the 


Far West in an official capacity, for such a fact 
would have been duly noted in the State Annals. 
If any Chinese subject did at all penetrate to the 
west, previous to Kan Ying, he must have been a 
private traveller, and one who either never 
returned to China, or did so without calling public 
or official attention to his journey. If the Seres 
mentioned by Florus were actually Chinese they 
must have come by way of India, and with the 
Indian envoys; they did certainly not come from 
the court of Han. The only official mission which 
might have gone forward from China to Ta-ts*in 
direct is that of Ts4n-lun, a Syrian merchant, who 
had come to some port in Cochin China and was 
sent on to the emperor of Wu, one of the three 
states contending for the supremacy during the 
third century A.D., Sun-ch'iian, ah'as T'd-ti ( A.D. 
222-252). This monarch asked him for an account 
of his country; and the details of his reply were 
perhaps contained in the Wu-shih-wai-kiio-chuan 
(^B^^^^-^), regarding which I regret to have 
obtained no information bevond the fact of its 
being quoted in certain cyclopedias.^ Ts4n-lun 
supplied the information required, and, on seeing 
some small men of Yi and Hsi^ which the 

1 See pp. 20, 168 (Note 3); cf. p. 238. 

2 Yi (Ift/commonly written 1^), and Hsi (^). Mr. Parker 

draws my attention to the fact having escaped my notice that these two 

characters, which I translated by ^^ blackish coloured " (p. 48, H 10), 

represent geographical terms. The latter is identical with the city of 

Hui-chou-fu in An-huei (lat. 29° 59', long. 118° 28'), the former is a 

district city in the immediate neighbourhood of it (lat. 30° 05', long. 

117° 58'; i^^Playfair, The Cities and Towns of China, Nos. 8579 and 2614). 


Chinese of the state of Wu had made prisoners 
in a campaign against the people of Tan-yang 
[=part of the present Kiang-nan Province] under 
the general Chu-ko K*o (a nephew of K^ung-ming, 
the great supporter of Liu Pei, the Minor Han 
Emperor), he remarked that such dwarfs would 
be considered a great curiosity in Ta-ts4n. The 
Wu Emperor thereupon ordered an official, Liu 
Hsien, a native of Kuei-chi (the present Chekiang,- 
Playfair, No. 3817) to accompany Ts4n-lun back to 
Ta-ts*in with twenty dwarfs, ten male and ten fe- 
male. The official died en route and Ts*in-lun went 
home. So far the Chinese records.^ The mission, 

1 See Translations H 8-10. Von Richthofen {Chi7ia, Vol. I, p. 510, 
note i) was again misled by a very faulty translation of this passage, 
and it seems that Julien's "Examen Critique" iSyntaxe Nouvelkf 
Vol. II) has not had the desired effect on some of the scholars dealing 
with sinological matters as far as Pauthier is concerned. This indus- 
trious writer, " dont j'estime le zele et dont j'apprecie les efforts" — 
with Julien, may be useful enough in suggesting that information 
regarding certain subjects may be found in certain works he has come 
across; but I would advise all oriental scholars not knowing Chinese 
not to accept a single sentence out of his translations without having 
it compared and checked over with the Chinese text by a competent 
Chinese scholar. The passage referred to (H 8-10) appears as follows 
in Pauthier's version (Journ, Asiat, Ille Serie, Vol. VIII, p. 281): 
"La cinqui^me des annees Hoang-wu de Sun-kiouattf il y eut un 
marchand du Ta-thsin, ou de I'empire romain, du nom de Thsin-lun^ 
Lun le Romain, qui vint dans le Kiao-tchi (le Tonquin). Le gouver- 
neur de Kiao-tchi^ nomme Ou-mo, envoya ce marchand, et I'accompagna 
en personne pres du souverain chinpis Kiouan (devenu Ta-tt). Ce 
dernier I'interrogea sur les chants, les moeurs de son pays. Lun 
repondit a toutes les questions qui lui furent faites sur les choses. 
Dans ce temps-la on se donnait de peine pour chercher le breuvage 
de I'immortalite da^ toutes les plantes nourissieres. C'etaient de 
petits hommes dont le teint tirait sur le noir, qui s'occupaient ainsi de 


it appears, has never been heard of again in 
China, which may have suggested the idea of 
Liu Hsien's death. I am not aware of mention 
being made of the arrival of any such dwarfs in 
western authors. Possibly the dwarfs died as well, 
if Ts*in-lun succeded at all in reaching his home. 

faire des dupes au grand jour. Lurij en les voyant, dit que ces hommes 
se montraient rarement dans le Ta-thsin. Kouan (le roi de Ou) chargea 
des magistrats d'examiner Taffaire de dix de ces hommes avec autant 
de femmes, apres quoi ils furent tous mis a mort. On reconduisit Lun 
pendant toute la route avec ses bagages, et il s'en retourna alors dans 
son pays natal." The Chinese text does not contain a word about 
Ts'in-lun's baggage, the mention of which caused von Richthofen to 
think of a lengthy over-land journey to Chiao-chih (" was auf eine 
grOssere Landreise deutet "). 



The foreign names identified in the foregoing 
researches belong to a variety of very different 
languages, and some of them have come down to 
us through channels quite different from those 
through which they came to China. We ought 
not, therefore, to expect results as uniform as 
are those represented in Julien's^ and Eitel's^ 
lists; for, these were based on identifications more 
certain and less dependent on personal opinion 
than is the list offered herewith. The degree 
of certainty with which these foreign and Chinese 
sounds may be compared to each other depends, 
in the first instance, on the identifications of 
localities, etc., put forward, and some of these 
it will be remembered have been suggested as 
mere possibilities. However, the Chinese ancient 
and mediaeval literature regarding the west is 
as yet an unworked mine; and I hope that, after 
years of patient research, we shall see the day 
when Western and Central Asiatic geography will 
be considered a rich source for the study of 

^ Methode pour dechiffrer ei transcrire les Noms Sanscrits qui se 
rencontrent dans Us Livres Chinois, Paris, 1861. 

3 Handbook for the Student of Chinese Buddhism, Hongkong, 1870. 


Chinese old sounds, and when this modest list 
will attain the size of the books of Sanscrit trans- 
iterations now on record. 

1. a ^=a in A/am (Flin.^ IV, 12 (25), 80), p. 139. 

2. a ^=ak in Akmatan (Acbatana), p. 154. 

3. an ^^an in Antiochia^ p. 208. 

4. an ^=an in Antoninus^ p. 175. 

5. an ^=ar in Arsakj p. 139 seq. 

6. an ^=aor in Aorst] "Aopa-oi (Strab. XI, p. 492), 

•P- 139- 

7. an ^=ur^ er^ or in Uruku^ Erek^ Orchoe^ 

pp. 139 and 155 seq. 

8. chan '^=S/idm or S/iemy t\e.^ Syria, p. 56. 

9. ckta {h'a) jjf\ or jfjflj see ka. 

10. chia {kia) ^=g-a in Gaza (?), p. 259. 

11. ckt'en (hen) ^^kem in Rekem^ p. 170. 

12. Mih iB==/^>^ (dik) in A-lek-san. Alexandria, 

pp. 181 and 182. 

13. fei^=be in belor^ p. 230. 

14. fo ^^but; bud in Buddha^ p. 289. 

15. fti l^^but; or beth in Bethlehem^ p. 287 seqq. 

16. ha ^=kha in khara^ p. 249. 

17. ho ^=grid^ klath^ in tigrid^ deklath (Tigris)? 

p. 198. 

18. hu l^=.c\\u in chw^/ch; keher in keherbae^ hat 

in harpax (?), p. 245. i^ 

19. hua ^=waj ba^ wat (?), bat (?), beth (?) in 

Bethleheniy p. 290. 

20. hsi {szh) ^=sa in jdsaminj p. 270 seq. 


21. hsi (jsih) ]^^=^ak in Arsak, p. 139 seq. 

22. hsien {hieti) ^^kem in Rekem^ p. 170. 

23. hsiin {hiiln) ^=g/iyun in ghyunluk^ p. 267. 

24. >^a JdH or ^=ka in theriaka^ p. 277. 

25. >^az ^=>^a2* in Kaisar^ p. 300. 

26. >^a;a ^=kam in Rekam^ p. 170. 

27. >^w ^=>^^/ in Uruku {=Orchoe)^ p. 139 and 

155 seq. 

28. la B$i)==ra in Khara^ p. 249. 

29. /a« ^=lan in Alani (Plin., IV, 12 (25), 80), 

p. 139. ^ "^ 

!=r/>^ in bathrik^ p. 294. 
=/^>^ in melek; Melekshah^ Milikshah; 
p. 298. 

31. lt^=leu in SeleU'Cia (?), p. 198. 

32. //^ or ^=re in Rekam^ p. 170. 

33. /e 3f^=r in 5^/or, p. 230. 

34. /^ Sft=^ in belor^ p. 230. 
35- ^^ M==^' in Merw^ p. 142. 

36. /m ;^=///;^/ lehem in Bethlehem (?), p. 290. 

37. //« 5^, or ^=/im or /<i;;^/ lehem in j5(?/>^- 

lehem^ 289 seqq. 

38. /^'^^ 3^===/o in d^/or, p. 230. 

39. //w ^=/o in A^/or, p. 230. 

40. lo ^=^<^ in Hira^ p. 151; /^w or leuk in Seleu- 

kiuy p. 197. 

41. /o ^=lem in Hierusalem (?), p. 204. The 

same character is made to represent the 
syllable ram in Abram (Abraham) in old 



texts handed down at the Jewish temple in 
K*ai-f6ng-fu, in which this name appears as 

^'^0 [Ssr jp. See C/itn. Rep., Vol. XX, 

P- 459- 

42. Ill ^=ru in MourUy possibly rg in Murg and 

Marg'iana^ p. 142. 

43. l^^ ^=rw in MerWj or ru in Mouru^ p. 142. 

44. lu ^=Iuk in ghyunluk^ p. 267. 

45. ^^^ ^=mbti in Mounts or J/<j in Merw, p. 142. 

46. /;/a ^=me in MerWj p. 142. 

47. //zaw ^=matan in Ahnatan (Acbatana), p. 154. 

48. mz^^ 1^=;;^^ in melek, p. 298. 

49. ming ^=min in jdsamtHj p. 270 seq. 

50. mil '^=m6u in MourUy p. 142. 

51. Tza i5=N0 in Ala^O (Alani, Plin., IV, 12 

(25), 80), p. 139. 

52. p^an ^=par in old Persian Parthuva, p. 139. 
53« pi ^=be in d^/or, p. 230. 

54. pin ^^phon in Ktesiphon^ p. 154 seq. 

55. po 5^=d^ch in chwA^ch ; bai in keherbal; pag 

in harpag (?), p. 245. 

56. /o ]^=/^r in Persia^ p. 198. 

57. ^0 jfit=^^ i^ bathriky p. 294. 

58. ^(^ i^=^<^ in Hierusalem (?), p. 204. 

59. sa ^^^sar in Kaisar^ p. 300. 

60. ^a;/ "^=^^^2 in A'lek-san^ Alexandriay p. 181, 


61. sha ^=za in Gaza (?), p. 259. 

62. su ^^=^e in Seleucia (?), p. 198. 


63. ssu ^=st in Ktesiphon^ p. 154 seq.; st in 

Seleucia^ p. 197; 5z in Persia^ p. 198. 

64. ta ^=ti in tigrid (Tigris) or de in deklath 

(Tigris)?, p. 198. 

65. ti ]^=ihe in thertaka, p. 277. 

66. to ^=t/ia in hatharekah^ hathrik^ p. 294. 

67. tou ^=t/iu or thuva in old Persian Parthuva^ 

P- 139- 

68. tu ^^tio {tov) in Antiochia^ p. 208. 

69. tun ^=ton in Antoninus^ p. 175. 

70. /5*^z ^=S0 or S in "Aofxroi (Aorst\ Strab., 

XI, p. 492), p. 139. 

71. wti i^=(2 in Alexandria, p. 182. 

72. wu J^=w in MerWy p. 142. 

73. ya7tg ^=hieru in Hierusalem (?), p. 204. 

74. yeh ^~jd in jdsamtn^ p. 270 seq. 
75- y^^ ifc or ^=rza in t/ierzaka, p. 277. 

76. yii 'f'^hi in Hira; ho or kho in Hotien, 
Khoten, p. 151. 





Acbatana; see A-man. 

Ablana (Alia), the port of, 160, 
164, 173. 

Aila; see Ablana, 

Akka nation, the, 203 seq. 

A-LAN-NA (a nation»the Alani), 
139 (note 1). 

Alexandria ad Margam; see Ak- 


Alexandria, a city near the Ghal- 
daean Lake, possibly the city of 
T4ao-chih, 150 (note). 

Alexandria Gharakos ; see Gharax 


Alexandria in Egypt, a centre of 
oriental traffic, 158; trade to, 
known to the Ghinese of the Wei 
period, 180 seqq.; 199. 

A-MAN (=Acbataaa), 143 (note 1); 
• 154; 195; 224. 

Amazons, 200 seqq. 

Ambassadors enjoying postal pri- 
vileges, 221. 

Amber, found in Syria; the Syrians 
trading in; etymology of the 
Chinese word for, 245 (note 1). 

An-hsi (country) identified with 
Parthia, 138 seq.; described in the 
ChHen-han-shUy 139; described in 
the Hovrhan-sTm^ 141; name. 

transferred to the Sassanide em- 
pire during period of the Three 
Kingdoms, 198. 

Animals in Ta-ts'in, 219 seqq. 

An-ku, city of An-hsi; perhaps 
Orchoe, 139 (note 1); 155; or 
Gharax Spasinu, 156; overland 
routes in three directions dividing 
at, 187 ; in the neighbourhood of 
Ts^-san, 190. 

Annam, the terminus of early 
missions to the Far East; fur- 
nishing articles of tribute offered 
to the Ghinese court by Ta-ts^in 
travellers, 176 seq.; 274. 

An-ti, the emperor, 180. 

Antioch (An-tu), the capital of 
Ta-t8*in, 207 seq.; plan of the 
city according to classical sources, 
209; its division into four quarters, 
210; its circuit at different times, 
211 ; its size, 212 ; its city walls 
and east gate; a clepsydra placed 
on one of its gates, 213; siege 
of, by the Arabs, 295 seqq. 

Antioghia Margiana (=Mu-1u), 
141 seqq.; 224. 

An-ts*ai (a nation=:the Aorsi), 139 
(note 1). 

Aorsi ; see An-ts*ai. 

Aqvilaria Agallocha^ Boxb.| 275 
(note 1). 

Arabia PETRiSA, 195. 



AscHiTN, Stati : tX all times well 

cared for in China, 9. 
Abistotlc on Silk, 258 Btq. 
Asbestos Clotb, 249 seqq, 
Attalio^ Vebtkb, 25S set). 



Babylonica (rage and carpets) 253> 

Baktibhua ; Cbristtan physioans, 
translaUngf Greek aathors into 
Arab, S04. 

Balanos (irait), 6S (B«te 1). 

Bartbb trade in Geylcm, 279 seq;^. 

Batuta, Ibn, 205. 

Bear, The Black, 220. 

Belob, meaning "glass," tlie word 
from wliicli GhiBese fiVti may ba 
derived, 230. 

Bexk, 278 eeq. 

Behtba, NicoluBB ie, 65 (note >). 

Bebenicb 158. 

BBBTTtn, citf, 158. 

Bewsrek, Lieot., sarrey of Baby- 
bniaa tracts, 147; 194 (note 1). 

Boyk, III., 61 (note 1). 

BaBTEOHiraiOBB, Dr. E., 4 ;^ 38 
(note2); 55 (note 2)j61r62 (note 
J); G4(notel); 65 (note I); 67 
(note 1); 140 (note 1); 142 
(note2); 170; 184; 198(note 1)} 
199; 220 (note 1); 238; 240; 
255; 262 J 271 (note 1); 272 
(note 4); 276 (note 1); 288 (note); 
293; 299; t'fo'cj, (note 1). 

Beidob, Flying, 187; 192 seq,. 

Bbimmait, E. C, 46 (note 2); 61 
(note 1); 243 (note 1). 

Bbooa, p., 302. 

Btobcbt, E. H,, 142 (nof« 1); 145 
(Bfttel); 144 (note I); 149 (note 
1); 192 (note 1); 194 (note 1); 
224 (note 1). 

Bubgkhabdt, J. L., discoTers the 
mins of Fetra, 161. 

ByasuB, 254; 262. 


Canobub, 183. 

Canton may hare been opened to 

trade by the misnon of A.D, 284, 

p. 271 seq.; 274. 
Cahbukcleb, 243. 
Casfun called "Western Sea" 

(/m-hai), 146; small sea (Isiao 

hat), ibid, (note 1). 
"Cataloocb, The," of the Imperial 

Library, see Ssu-k'u'Ch'Hanshu- 

Census taken in China A.D. 740, 

p. 52 (note 2). 
Ceylon, 178; tbe "spirit" or 

"detil" market at,. 279 eeq. 
Cbaldaa; see T'uo-chib. 
CHAi.n£AH Laeb, Preface, ix; 147 

Chano Ch'ien, the explorer abont 

B.C. 12&, pp. 46 (nete 1); 137 

169 ; 279 (note 1). 
Chad Jh-kca, anthor of the CTu 

fan-chih : his notes regarding T* 

ts'in mostly not original, 22 

eonjectnres regarding the timv 

dnring which he wrote, 23 seqi^. 
Ceabax SpASmn, 156; IW. 
Ch'4-cb'O, 3» (note 2). 
Ga'fiN^HSiAMa, 275 (note 1). 
Gh'Ak S-hou, antiior of the San-tw- 

chih, 13. 
CTAiy-(w-ftHij, 278 (note 1). 



Chi-chang (rugs, curtains?), 255. 

Ch*iai-shu: style of writing in use 
since ancient times, 9. 

Ch*ieh-lan, 193 seq.; 195. 

ChHen-han-shu (Dynastic History), 
3; early editions of, 7; quoted, 

Ch'ien Ta-hsin, writes on old 
sounds, 289 (note 1). 

Chih-chia ; see Henna. 

Ch'ih-san (=a Alexandria), 181 
seqq.; 199. 

Ch*ih-shui (Red Water), 292 seq. 

Ch'ih-t*u (country), 215. 

Chin-shu (Dynastic History), 16; 
quoted, passim, 

Ching-chuan-cki-'Chielij 272. 

ChiU't^ang-shu (Dynastic History), 
17; quoted, jpaasem. 

Chlorophane, 243. 

Chu-fan-^hihy 21 seq.j quoted^^jaa- 
sim; see also Chao Ju-kva. 

Chu-ko K'o, 48; 306. 

CH*tJ-sou (rugs), 255. 

Ch^un-chHu-sMh'lieh^ 272. 

Cities, number of, in Ta-ts'in, 218 

Clepsydra at the city of Antioch, 
213 seq. 

Cloth, various kinds of, manufac- 
tured in Ta-ts*in, 247 seqq.; the 
Roman Orient known for the 
manufacture of, 252; Babylonian 
kinds, 253; Attalic 253 seq.; woven 
from different materials, 254 seq.; 
musters described, ihid.'^ silk, 255; 
Coic, 295 seq.; Hai4isi-pu, 263. 

Cochin-China; see Atsnan, 

CoiciE Vestes, 259 seq. 

Coins, Parthian, 140 ; Roman, pos- 
sibly brought to China by mission 
of A.I>. 166, p. 177- 

CoLLiNGWooD, Licut., survcys, 147. 

Colours, translation of, doubtful, 73 
(notes 2 and 3); 255 (note 1). 

Copper, 276. 

Corals and Coral-fishino, 246 seq. 

Court Chroniclers, 10 ;cf, Jih-li. 

Crystal, Chinese and Roman lore 
regarding, 233 (note 1); as an 
architectural ornament, 238 seq.; 
produced in Syria, 239. 


Daily Chronicles; see Jih-li. 

Damascus, 19$; 301. 

Damask Blades, 301. 

Damqhan, 14a (note 1); 154. 

Darmesteter, J., 142 (note 2). 

De Guignes, J., (pere), 4; 28; 29? 
30; 40 (note 1); 139 (note 1); 
140 (note 2); 150 (note); 152 
(note 1); 238; 298; 299; 300. 

Dennys, N. B., 63. 
Dependent States, 189 seqq. 

DiSTAisroEs in N shordd be understood 
to be in stadia, 142; 212; 222 seq.; 
accuracy of, in Chinese records^ 
illustrated, 224. 

DouRSTHER, 223 (note 1). 

Dwarfs, 202; 305. 


'EgEdN-GEBER,^ 160w 

Edessa, 193 ; 298. 

EbKiNS, Dr. J., 4; 18; 170; 202? 

273; 288; 289 (note 1). 
Edrisi, 16. 

Egypt, comprised under the name 
Ta-ts'in, 180 seq.; 216w 

^LATHy see Aelana* 



Embassies, alleged, from China to 
Home, 304 seqq. 

Embassies and other Missions from 
Ta-ts*in to C^na:— 

A.D. 120 (jugglers and musicians), 

A.D. 166 (An-tun): in what 
month arrived, 42 (note 1); 
opening the sea-route to China, 
173; doubtful tradition as to 
year of arrival according to Sung 
authors, 174 (note 1); a com- 
mercial mission, 175 seqq. 

A.D. 226 (Ts4n-lun), 306. 

A.D. 284 (the paper mission): 
may have landed at Canton, 
271 (note 2); offering paper as ' 
tribute, 272; a private mission, 

A.D. 643 (Po-to-li), 293 seqq. 

A.D. 667 (the Theriac mission), 
276 seqq. 

A.D. 719 (priests), 284 (see note 

A.D. 1081, p. 298 seqq. 

A.D. 1368 (?) : Nicolaus de Ben- 
tra identified with, 65 (note 1). 

Embroidering, 253 seqq. 

Emeralds, where found, 244. 

Emesa, 194. 

Srh'Shih-ssU'Shth ; see Histories, 

Erythrjsan Periplus ; see SfiA, 
Western, and Sea-route, etc. 

Euphrates, navigation of the. Pre- 
face, ix seq.; 148 seq.; 150 (note); 
crossed between Hira and Seleucia 
197; its being navigated on in 
skin boats may have recalled the 
Weak Water legend to the Chi- 
nese mind, 291 ; 293. 


Fa Hsien ; his account of Ta-ch*in 
referred to Ta-ts*in by the T^u- 
shu'Chi'Ch^eng, 26; on the "devil 
market" in Ceylon, 280. 

Fan Yeh, author of the Hou-haU' 
shUf 6. 

Fang Ch'iao, author of the Chin- 
shuy 16. 

Fang shu-chHen-li : meaning of the 

phrase, 214 seq. 
Fichte, J. G., 153. 

Fo'kuo-chi; see Fa Hsien. 

Fraas, 0., Preface, xii; 245 (note 1), 

Frankincense, 266 seqq. 

Franks, the name, in the sense of 
Europeans, when first used, 288 

Freytag, G. W. F., 223. 

Friedlaender, L., 167; 175 (note 
1); 176 (note 1); 212; 221 (note 
1); 225 (note 2); 227 ; 240 (note 
1); 245 (note 1); 254 (note 2); 260 

Fu-lin: name when first used, 17; 
286 seq.; 288 (note); its territory, 
217; accounts analysed, 283 
seq.; reports regarding, bear an 
ecclesiastical stamp, 284 seqq.; 
identified, 286 seqq. ; different 
Chinese characters used in writing 
the name, 287 (and ihid, note 1); 
various etymologies suggested by 
others, {ihid, note 2); probable old 
sound of name, bat-lim, 288 seq.; 
the Nestorians substitute the name 
Bethlehem for that of Ta-ts'in, 
290; conquered by Arabs, 295, 
seqq.; a Seldjuk province, 297 seq. 

Fu-NAN (country), 47 (note 1); 215; 
visited by the Chinese traveller 
K^ang Pai, 169 (note). 




Gabelentz, G. von der, 29. 
Galle, the port of, in Ceylon 281. 
Garoo Wood, 275 (note 1). 

Gaubil, a., 24. 

Gauze: deriyation of the word, 259 
(note 1). 

Gaza, 162; 259 (note 1). 

Geerts, a. J. C, 46 (note 2); 53 
(notes 2 & 3); 57 (note 1); 59 
(note 1); 72 (note 2); 229; 233 
(note 2;; 242. 

Gems; see Precious Stones; Lu- 
minous Gems. 

Gibbon, E., 44 (note 2); 168 (note 
1); 218; 219 (note 2); 221 (note 
2); 288 (note). 

GiESELER, J. K. L., 295 (note 1). 

Giles, H. A., 26 (note 1); 243 
(note 1); 280; 285 (note); 302. 

Glass industry in Ta-ts4n, 228 seqq. 
ten colours produced, 228; liu-U 
and p(h-lt, how distinguished, ibid.; 
originally classed with precious 
stones, 229 seq.; derivation of the 
Chinese word for, 230; when first 
manufactured in China, 230 seqq. ; 
gradually depreciates in the esti- 
mation of the Chinese, 233 seq.; 
replacing crystal and precious 
stones as an architecture orna- 
ment, 239. 

Gold, 275. 

Gold Embroideries, 253 seq. 

GoLD-PowDER, 236 (note 2). 

Gold, Yellow, etc., 53 (note 3). 

Grosier, TAbbe, 231. 

GuiGNBs, J. db; see Db Guiones, 


Ha-la-ni, Chinese name for Russian 
Cloth, whence derived, 249. 

Hai-hsi (country on the west of the 
sea), 72 (note 1); 163 seq. 

Hai'kuO't^u-chikj quoted, passim* 

Hai-liao, 22 (note 1). 

Hai-pei (country north of the sea= 
Mesopotamia?), 187 seq.; 219. 

Hai-tuno (countries on the east of 
the sea), 72 (note 1); 163 seq. 

Hanburt, Dan., 5; 264; ibid, (note 
2); 266 (note 1); 267 (note 1); 
275 (note 1). 

Hance, Dr. H. F., 264; 270 (note 1). 

Heeren, a. H. L., 162; 240; 261 
(note 3). 

Hehn, v., 63 (note 1); 256 (note 2). 

Hekatompylos, capital of Parthia, 
139 (note 1); 141; its site near 
the present Damghan confirmed 
in Chinese records, 143 (note 1); 
route from, to the west, 153 seqq. 

Hemp, foreign, introduced in China 
by Chang Ch*ien, 279 (note 1); 
known in ancient China as a 
narcotic, ibid. 

Henna, 268 seqq. 

d'Hbrbelot, 278 seq.; 294; 300; 

304. Cf. ViSDBLOU, 

d'Hervais DB St. Dbnys, translator 
of Ma Tuan-lin's geographical 
chapters, 20 (note 2). 

Hills, ranges of, 195 seq. 

Hira (=«city of T*iao-chih, and Yii- 
lo). Preface, ix seq.; 148 seqq.; 
196 seq.; the kingdom of, its 
origin^ 149 (note 2). 

HiRscH, A., 175 (note 1). 



Historical Writers, official : from 
what materials they drew their in- 
formation on foreign countries, 
10 seqq. 

Histories, Dynastic, impartiality 
of, 1 seq.; information regarding 
Ta-ts4n contained in which, 2 

HoECK, K. F. C, 227. 

Ho-TU (—Hekatompylos), 141. 

Horses, White, with red manes, 73 
(note 1); 269 (note 1). 

HoU'hari'Shu (Dynastic History), 3 
seqq.; its trustworthiness, 7; early 
editions of, 7 seq.; quoted, passim, 

Hsi-Kt; see Amazons. 

Hsi-WANG-MTJ, 292 seq. 


Hsi-yO-chuan (chapter on western 
countries in Dynastic Histories), 
4; from what materials compiled, 

Hsiao-chirt'Chuyimn^ a collection of 
reprints, 21, 

Hsiao-j£n; see Pygmies. 

HsiEH-CHi-Hsi (chicken-frightening 
rhinoceros), 79 (note 1). 

HsiEN-TU, 195 seq. 

Hsin-t^ang-shu (Dynastic History), 
18; preferred by Ma Tuan-lin to 
Chiu-t^ang^shu in quoting, 86 
(note 2); qnoted^ passim, 

Hst) Chia-kuang, manager of a 
Chinese Publishing Company, 8 
(note 1). 

Hsu'Wen-hsien-t'ung-k^aOf the con- 
tinuation of Ma Tuan-lin's work, 

Hs&an-Chuang's Journeys; see Ta- 

HstJN-LU (= Frankincense), 266 
seqq.; the word, related to Turkish 
ghyunluk, 267. 

Hu (foreign), the term, 70 (note 1); 
applied to western silk textures, 
259; Hu people, 268; 271 seq. 

Hu-MANO (date), 204. 

HuA-LiN, "the flowery groves," in 
Nestorian Inscription, may stand 
for Fu-lin, 290 seq. 

Hue, Abbe, 21 seq.; 61 (note 1); 92 
(note 1). 

Humboldt, A. von, 138 (note 1). 

Huo-HUAN-PU; see Asbestos Cloth 

HviENA («=Ts*ung?) 220. 


IcHTHYOPHAGi, 204 seqq. 

Imbault-Huart, C, 7 (note 2). 

India : glass industry said to have 
been introduced from, 231 (note 
1); trade with, 158; 165; 168; 
183; 226 seq. 

Indian Ocean, average speed of 
ancient navigation in, 168. 

Interpreters, foreign, at the court 
of China, 11; when appointed by 
the Boman emperors, 44 (note 2). 

Iron, exported from China for the 
Il(mian market, 225 (note 2); 
where produced during Han dy- 
nasty, 226 (note). 


Jackal (=Ts*ung?) 220. 

Jacquet, M., 287 (note 2). 

Jadeite, 46 (note 2); 55 (note 1); 
59 (note 2). 

Jao-haiy the term, 184 seqq. 

Jasminum Sambac, L.; see Mo-li- 

Jasminum Officinale j L.; see Yeh- 


Jerusalem (=Yang-sa-lo?), 204. 



JiH-Li, or " Daily Chronicles," 1. 

Jones, Wm., 235 ; 236. 

Jo-SHUi, (Weak Water), 291 seqq. 

JuoQLBBS, 80 (note 2); 169; 179 

Ju-HsiANG ( as Frankincense), 266 

JuLiKN, Stan., 6; 17 (note 1); 29; 
35 (note 1); 181 (note 1); 190 
(note 1); 201 (notes 1 and 2); 
202 (note 2); 204 (note 1); 259 
(note 1) ; 266 (note 2) ; 307 (note 


Kaisar (Caesar), the title, used by 
Arab and Seldjnk kings, 300. 

Kallenberg, C, 247 (note 2). 

Ka-na-tiao-chou, a port ( ?) whence 
one conld reach Ta-ts^in, 169 

Kan Ying, special commissioner, 
sent by Pan Ch'ao to explore Ta- 
ts'in, 13; 138; reached what point 
in T*iao-chih, 149; his intended 
sea-journey, 164 seqq.; the first 
traveller to the Far West, 305. 

K'anq T*ai, a Chinese traveller of 
the Wu period, 169 (note). 

Kao-tsung, emperor, 7. 

Karka (^Charax), 156 (note 1). 

Kempthorne, Lieut., 206. 

Kerbela, city of, 152. 

Khotbn, the name, 151 (note 1). 

KiEFERT, IL, 139 (note 1); 142 
(note 2); 147; ibid, (note 1); 148; 
155 (note 1); 156 (note 1); 160 
(notes 1 and 2); 191 (note 1); 
197 (note 1). 

KiNGSMiLL, T. W., 153 (note); 156; 

KiRCHER, Athan., 61 (note 1). 

Klaproth, J., 79 (note 2); 138 
(note 1); 176 (note 1); 245 (note 

Klunzinger, C. B., 247. 

KocHB (=Seleucia), 197. 

KoPTos, 158 ; 182. 

KosKiR, the port of, 247. 

Krinos, Prof., 265. 

Ktesiphon, land-road from, to Hira, 
148; uq,^ Ssu-pin, 152 ; 154 seq.; 
captured by the Romans, 174; 
having a long range of hills north 
of it, 195 seq. 

Kuei-huan-hsing^chind'^hi^ wrongly 
quoted by Ma Tuan-lin for Tur 
huan-hsing'Chtng'Chi (a work of the 
T'ang dynasty), 95 (note 1). 

Kuo-Tzu-CHiBN, the Imperial Aca- 
demy of Learning, 7 (note 2). 


Lao-po-sa; see Iohthyophagi, 

Lapis Lazuli (?), 72 (note 2). 

Lawsonia inerms, L,; see Henna. 

Lbggb, Dr. J., 214 seq.; 291 seq. 

Lbi-shu or Cyclopedias: quoting 
passages relating to Ta-ts'in, 14: 

Letronne, J. A., 176 (note 1). 

Leukb Kome, a port trading with 
Petra, 162. 

Li (road-measure=stadium), 142; 
152, 153 seqq.; 164; 187; 191 
seq.; 194; 196; 204; 205 (note 
2); 211 ; 214; 222 seqq.; (=pa8- 
sus), 192; 193 (note). 

LiBANON range of hills, 196. ' 



Li-KAK, Li-chien, etc. Sound of 
this name, 77 (note 1); west of 
An-hsi; not known before A.D. 
120, p. 137; various modes of writ- 
ing the name in Chinese, 170 
(note 1 ) ; etymologies, ibid.; iden- 
tified with Eekem or Petra, 169 
seqq.; a market for silk and land- 
ing depot for oriental goods, 171; 
173; jugglers from, 169; cf. 179 

Li-KAK T^iAO-CHiH, as a double 
name: either Syria and Babylonia, 
146, or the country of the Naba- 
thaeans and Ghaldaeans, 172. 

Liang Chi, 251. 

Liang^ghu (Dynastic History), 16; 
quoted, passim. 

Ling (=:damask or gauze), 257 seq. 

Linguistic Results, 309 seqq. 

Lions in Ta-ts4n, 187; 219 seq.; 
220; 221 (note 1). 

Liu-Li ; see Glass. 

Liu-SHA, or Flying Sands, p. 292 

LoFTus, W. K., Map of Chaldaea, 
etc., 147 (note 1); his excavations 
near Shuster, 198 (note 1). 

Luminous Gems, 242 seq. 

LtJ-cHiN-cHiNG (=gold-powder?), 
236 (note 2). 

Lt-F^N, 191 seqq. 


Madain, capital of the Sassanide 
kings, 198. 

Magadha, the name of Buddha's 
birth-place, applied to India, 290. 

Mannert, K., 139 (note 1). 

Manuscript Literature: well re- 
gulated in China before the period 
of printing, 9. 

Marc Aurel, his alleged embassy 
to China; see Embassies, A.D. 

Marquardt, J., 227. 

Mas'udi, Preface, ix ; 144 (note 1); 
150 (note); 208. 

Ma Tuan-lin, author of the Wen- 
Tisien^t^ung-k^ao : his merits as a 
geographical writer, 20 seq.; quo- 
ted, passim, 

Mayers, W. F., 7 (note 2); 13 (note 
1); 25 (note 1); 80 (note 1); 233; 
272 (note 3); 292; 302. 

Melek, as a title, meaning an 
under-king during the Seldjuk 
rule, 298. 

Merw, city of, 142 (note 2). 

Mesny, Wm., 229. 

Mesopotamia, 187 seq. 

Mi-HSiANG-CHiH (paper), 272 seqq. 

Mi-HsiANG-SHU (=Aquillaria AgaU 
locha, Eoxb. ?), 272 seqq. 

MiEH-Li-i-LiNG-KAi-sA cannot be the 
name of Michael VII Parapinaces, 
but must be the title of a Seldjuk 
under-king, 298 seqq. 

MiEH-Li-SHA (=Milikshah), 298. 

Mile, Arabian (=t^ing) see Mil- 
LiARY System. 

Milliary System: parasangs, Ara- 
bian miles, stadia, 222 seqq.; see 

Ming-shih (Dynastic History), 19. 

Moellendorff, Dr. O. F. von, 288 

Mo-Li-HUA {Jasminum SambaCy L.), 
268 ; 270 seq. 

Mo-LiN ; see Ichthyophagi. 

MoLTKB, Count von, 193 (note). 

Mommsen, Th., 172. 

MosHEiM, J. L. von, 65 (note 1). 



M6uRU (=Ma-ln), 141 seq. 

MuAViAy Governor-General of Sjria, 
297 (note 1); 301. 

MuiB, Sir Wm., 150 (note); 151 
(note 1); 162 (note 8). 

MuLBBRBY, the, in Syria, 256. 

Mu-LU, city of, 141 seq. 

Mu-KAK (a pearl), 59 (note 1); 80 
(note 1). 

MOller, K., 189 (note 1); 181 
(note 2); ICl (note 2); 206 
(note 1). 

MtJLLEB, Otfried, 208. 

Musicians from 3^a-ts4n, 179 seq. 

MuziRis, a port in India, 168. 

Myos Hormos, 158; 159 (note 1); 
fleet leaving, for India, 168; pos- 
sibly the Chinese Wu-tan, 181 ; 
country about, inhabited by Ich- 
thyophagi, 205 seq. 


Nabatbaba, Preface, x (note 1); 
159; 161; 172. 

Nan-chH-^hu (Dynastic History), 16. 

Nan'/ang-ta^aO'Tnu^huang, an an- 
cient botanical work, 20; 268 seqq.; 
270 seq.; 272 seqq.; 275 (note 1). 

Navigation, average speed of an- 
cient, in several seas, 167 seq.; 
182 seq. 

Nbdjbf, city of. Preface, ix; 148. 

Negro Tribes; see Ichthyophagi. 

Nesbitt, a., 228 (note 1), 

Nestorian Inscription, 5 seq.; its 
genuineness, 6; characters of— 
represent the T*ang style of wri- 
ting, 10; contains an account of 
Ta-ts4n, 19; says that Nestorians 
came from Ta-ts4n, 289 seq.; the 
expression hua4in in,^290 seq. 

Nestorians, 5; 284 seqq.; 804. 

Neumann, K. F., 6; 10 (note 1); 37 

(note 2); 70 (note 1); 140 (note 
2); 146 (note 1); 157 (note 1); 
199; 272; 288 (note). 


Nile, the river, 158; 181 seqq. 


Ocelis, a port in the Hed Sea, 168. 

Odoric, Friar, 261 seq. 

Olibanum; see HsOn-lu. 

Olin, S., 161 (note 2). 

0-lo-pAn (=Iluben, Rupen?), 285 

Ophib, Solomon's fleet to, started 
from the Gulf of Akabah, 160. 

Opium, possibly first brought to 
China in the disguise of a medi- 
cine, A.D. 667,-p. 278. 

ORCHofi, city ; see An-ku. 

Orontes, the river of Antioch, 
navigable, 214. 

Orpiment, 275. 

Ostrich-eggs of Rekem, 169. 

OusELEY, Sir Wm., 288 (note). 

Ozus (Euei-shui), 189. 


Pallacopas Canal, 149. 

Palmyra, 194. 

Pan Chao, sister of Pan Eu, 
co-operates in compiling the Chien* 
han-shUf 8. 

Pan Ch*ao, the exploring general, 8; 
18; 46 (note 1); 138; his designs 
with regard to Ta-ts*in, peaceful, 
ibid, (note 1). 



Pan Ku, author of the Chien'Tian- 
8hu, 3; 138. 

*AN-TOD (capital of An-h8i,=Par- 
thuva), 139 (and note 1) 

Paper presented by Ta-tsMn to the 
court of China, 272 seqq. 

Parasano {s^chih or hou)\ see MiL- 
LiARY System. 

Paravey, le Cher de, 6; 202 (note 

Pardessus, J. M., 256 (note 1). 

Parker, E. H., 122; 142 (note 2); 
185 seq.; 207; 269 (note 1); 306 
(note 2). 

Parte I A (=An-hsi); see An-hsi; 
western boundary of, 147; over- 
land route through : Hekatom- 
pylos to Chaldaea, 153 seqq.; 
the same route backwards, 157 
(note 1); Roman war with, caus- 
ing new trade route to China to 
be opened, 173. 

Parthians occupying Syria previous 
to B.C. 38,-p. 13; jealous of trade 
with China, 164 seq, 

Pauthier, G., 6; 18; 22; 29; 30; 44 
(note 1); 48 (note 3); 51 (note 
2); 52 (note 1); 55 (note 2); 61 
(note 1); 92 (note 1); 93 (notes 1 
and 2); 170; 208; 261 (note 4); 
278 (note 1); 274; 286 (notes 1 
and 2); 287 (note 2); 290 (note 
1); 293; 299; 307 (note 1). 

Pearls, 247. 

Pegu, coast of, as a terminus of 
oriental trade, 179. 

Pei'Shih (Dynastic History), a re- 
production of the Wei'Shu^ 17; 
48 ; quoted, passim. 

Pbi Sung-chih: compiles a com- 
mentary to the San-kuO'Chih, 14. 

Pen-ts^ao-kang-mUy a Chinese phar- 
macopoeia, 14; 266 seqq.; 277; 
quoted, 2^<^ffsim, 

Pen-ts^ao-pin-hui^hing'^aOf a mann- 
script pharmacopoeia of A.D. 
1506,-p. 277 (note 2). 

Persia called An-hsi in Chinese 
records, 198; when first mentioned 
separatelyi ibid. 

Peschel, O., 16; 167. 

Petra, city of, or Rekem, 27; the 
landing-stage, or port, of Ta-ts*in, 

157 seqq.; its local names, 160; 
accounts of, by Olin and Muir, 
160; seqq.; bifurcation ef road 
cast and west, 162. 

Pfizmaier, a., 79 (note 2); 229; 

Phillips, G., Preface, viii; 24; 55 
(note 2); 276; 284; 294. 

Phoenician Industries, 158 seq. 

Physicians of Fu-lin, 301 seqq. 

Pillars and Walls adorned with ' 
crystal, glass, and precious stones, 
a peculiarity of Syria, 240. 

Plague, the, under Marc Aurel, 
may have led to the opening of a 
direct sea-route to China, 175 
(note 1); contemporaneous with 
an epidemic in China, ibid. 

Playfair, G. M. H., 306 (note 2); 

Po-Li ; see Glass. 

Polo, Marco, 24; 25; 180; 205; 
249 (note 1). 

PO'Ssu (=Persia), ldd;8ee Persu. 

Postal Arrangements, 221 seqq. 

Po-TO-Li, king of Fu-lin: name iden- 
tified with bathrik (=patriarch), 
293 seqq. 

Priaulx, dr Beauvoir, 150 (note); 

158 (notes 1 and 2). 

Precious Stones, 284 seqq.; glass 
imitations of, 237. 



Purplb; five and nine colours of, 

Ptgmiss, 200 ; 202 seqq. 


Rawlinson, G., 140; ibid, (note 3); 
224 (note 1). 

Realgar, 275. 

Bbinaitd, J. T., 12; 178 (note 1). 

Bbkbmj see Pbtba. 

R^MUSAT, A., 20 (notes 1 and 2); 
29; 37 (note 2); 65 (note 1); 138 
(note 1); 146 (note 1); 157 (note 

Renak, E.y G. 

Rhinoceros, the, in Chaldaea, Pre- 
face, X seqq. 

Rhinokolura, 162. 

Ricci, Matth., 19; 67 (note). 

RiOHTHOFBN, F. VON, 4; 28; 153 
(note); 287 (note 2); 307 (note 

RiBHMER, 160 (note 2). 

Roads in Ta-ts'in, 221 seq. 

RoAD| the Royal, in Asia, 222 (note 

Robbers, absence of, in Ta-ts'in, 220^ 

Rock, Very Rev., 253. 


Sacharoff, F., 52 (note 2). 

Sachau, Ed., 193 (note). 

Saddlbrt, 300 seq. 

SAdik IsFAHixi, 288 (note). 

Samosota, 193. 

^a9i-A;tf(7-c^7£ (Dynastic History), 13. 

SoALiOBR, J., sen., 261. 

Sohatt-sl-AhAra, 155. 

ScHKBiDER, 0., 245 (note 1). 

SCHOTT, W., 29. 

ScHWBiNFURTH, G., 203; 204. 

Sea, Red, 49 (note 1) ; 81 (note 1); 
ports on its coast, 157 seqq.; 163 
(cf. note 2); producing corals, 
246; 291. 

Sba-routb from Babylonia to Petra, 
length of, 164; average speed of 
navigation on, compared with 
navigation in other seas, 167. 

"Sba," the term, (?iai) frequently 
substituted for ** river" {ho), 76 
(note 1); 192. 

Sea, Western (Jiai-hai), the term, 
146; 163; also called " Great Sea" 
(ta-hai) ibid, (note 1); navigation 
of, 157 seqq.; 164 seqq. 

Selbt, Commr., survey of Baby- 
lonian tracts, 147. 

Seldjuks, the, rule over Fu*lin, 297 

Sblbucia {^SsU-lo), 151 ; destroyed 
by the Romans, 174 ; its site, 197. 

ShAh (Syria), 56 (note 2). 

Shan, country, 179 seq.; 190 (note 


Sh£n Yo, author of the Sungshu, 

Shih-^M (Dynastic History), 2; 
quoted, passim, 

Shzh - chia - chat - yang - hsin - lu, 289 
(note 1). 

Shih-kuan; see Court Chroniclers. 

Shui-yang; see Water-shbep. 

SiDON, city, 158. 

Silk: Li-kan and Ta-ts^n probably 
known to the Chinese at first as 
purchasers of this commodity, 137; 
why landed in Petra, and not in 
Egyptian ports, 158; dyed and 
remanufactured in Phoenicia, ibid,; 



interraption in — ^trade owing to 
Parthian war causes the opening 
of a direct sea-ronte to China 
being attempted, 174; weighed up 
with gold in Borne, 225 (see note 
2) ; produced in the north-west of 
China during the Han dynasty, 
226 (note); whether the ancient 
Syrians could produce it, 255 
seqq.; Chinese, unrayelled and 
re- woven into gauzes, 257 seqq.; 
Co'fc gauze, 259 seq. 

Silver, 275. 

Sinai, desert of, 204. 

SiTTAKE, 194. 

Size of Ta-ts'm, 214. 

Skins, exported from China during 

Han dynasty, 225 (note 2). 
Smith, Porter, 37 (note 1). 
"Spirit Markets," 279 seqq. 

Spruner and Menke, Atlas Anti- 
quttSf 150 (note); 208 seq. 

Squier, E. G., 302. 

Stadia; see Milliary System. 

Strauss, V. von, 73 (note 2). 

Su-Li (==Madam), 198. 

SuN-CH*tJAN, emperor, 16; 306. 

Sun Shih, edits the Hou-han-shu, 7. 

^ Sung Shih (Dynastic History), 19; 
23 ; 25 ; quoted, passim. 

Sung-shu (Dynastic History), 16; 
quoted, ^msstm. 

SsU'Ch^ao^hihy historical work of the 
Sung dynasty, 9i (note 1). 

Ssu-pu, 194; 195. 

SsU - k^u - ch^&an - shu - tsung - mu, the 
"Catalogue of the Imperial Li- 
brary at Peking," 7; 14; 22; 23. 

Ssu-Lo; see Seleugia. 

Ssu-MA Ch'ien, author of the Shih* 
chi, 2. 

Ssu-pin; see Ktbsipbon. 

Ssif-T^AO, 194. 

Star Stones (Asteria), 242. 

Stony Land, The, 195. 

Storax, 263 seqq. 

Streeter, on precious stones, 242. 

Su-HO ; see Storax. 

Svi^shu (Dynastic History), 17; quo- 
ted, passim. 

Sultan, the title, 298 seq. 

SusA, ancient, its site, 198 (note 1). 

Sword-blades of Damask, 301. 

Ta-ho-shui (=Tigris), 198. 

Ta-t'ang-hsi-yU'Chi, 17; 201; 287; 
288 (note). 

TA-Tfi-s^NQ (priests), 284 (note 2). 

T'A-TfiNG (rugs), 255. 

Ta-ts'in shih, 22. 

Ta-ts*in: the port of, 157 seqq.; 
size of the country, 214 seqq. 

Ta-yUeh-chih, 231. 

Taintor, E. C, 138 (note 1); 170; 

268 (note 2); 270. 

Taurus range of hills, 196; 291. 

Taberistan, 146 (note 1). 

T^ang-penr-ts^ao, 276. 

T^ang-shu; see ChiU't^ang-shu ; Hm- 

Taprobane ; see Ceylon. 

Tennent, Sir J. E., 281 seqq. 

Territory of Ta-ts*in and Fu-lin: 
size of, 214 seqq. 

Textile Fabrics, 247 seqq.; 252 

Texts, Chinese: their treatment in 
former periods compared with the 
history of classical texts, 8-10. 

Theriac; see Ti-yeh-ka. 



Ti-YBH-KA, 276 seqq. 

T'lAo-CHiH, country on the coast of 
the Persian Gulf, 13; formerly 
beliered to be farther away from 
China than Ta-ts*in, 138; Kan 
Ying arrives in, ibid.; originally 
more powerful than An-hsi (Par- 
thia), 143; 146; identified with 
Chaldaea, 144 seqq. cf. Preface, 
viii seqq. ; account of, in the 
Ch^ien-han-shuj 145 (note 1); city 
of, 147 seq. ; former identifica- 
tions of, 152 (note 1); shipping- 
port of sea-route to Ta-t8*in, 
157; site was south of the city 
of Madain and down ri?er, 198; 
occurrence of the rhinoceros in, 
Preface, x seqq. 

Tigers in Ta-ts^in, 219. 
Tigris, 155; 197 seq. 

T'ING-SHIH, 22. 

To-LO-Ni, Chinese name for broad- 
cloth, whence derived, 249. 

T'o-T*o, author of the Sung'shih, 19. 

Trade, Indian and Chinese, to Rome, 
in what respect differing, 158 
seq.; 178; profit derived from 
Chinese and Indian, 165; 225; 
nature of articles forming Chinese, 
225 seqq.; value of Chinese, 
Indian, etc., import trade, 226 
seqq.; articles of trade in China 
dnring the Han dynasty, 226 
(note); Roman imports from China 
chiefly paid for in kind, 228; 
barter trade in Ceylon, 279 seqq. 

Tbade Routes, 137 seqq.; overland 
through Parthia, 153 seqq; by 
sea from Chaldaea to Petra, 157 
seqq.; sea-route from the Red 
Sea to China (or Annam) direct, 
173 seqq.; by sea to the coast of 
Pegu, 179 seq.; overland from 
Parthia to Syria, 183 seqq.; 
through Mesopotamia, 187 seq. 

Translating from the Chinese: 
comparative method of, 18; 21. 

Translations of Chinese Notices of 
Ta-ts*in, 27; von Richthofen mis- 
led by de Guignes, 28 ; necessity 
for new, 29. 

Translations of Chinese texts, 33 

Travelling, safety of, in Ta-ts*in, 

Ts'S-fu-yiian-kuei, 22. 

Tsfe-sAN, tributary state of Ta-ts*in, 
156; 190. 

Ts'iN-LUN, a merchant from Ta-ts*in, 
reaching China, 16; sent back 
to Rome with dwarfs, 306. 

Ts^UNO, a quadruped, 220. 

Tu-Hu (a Chinese governor in Cen- 
tral Asiatic provinces), 139. 

Tu'huari'hsing'Cking^chi, 95 (note 1); 

THi'Shu-clii'Ch^eng, the great cyclo- 
pedia in 5,000 vols., 25; new edi- 
tion about to appear, ibid,, note; 
its accounts of Ta-ts^in and Fu- 
lin, 26. 

Tu YtJ: presented with paper for 
literary work, 272. 

TuN-Hst)N (country), 216. 

T^ung-chien-kang-mu contains an 
account of the Weak Water le- 
gends, 292; no notice regarding 
arrival of Roman embassy about 
A.D. 337 contained in, 305. 

T*UNG-wAN-SHU-CHtJ, a Chinese pub- 
lishing company, 8; 25. 

Tyre, city of, 158; 183 (note 1). 


Uruku (Orchoe), 155. 




Variantb in Chinese text, 74 (noteB 
1 to 5); 87 (note 1); 88 (noto 1); 
90 (note I); 92 (note 3); 95 (notes 
land 2); 122; 195. 

Yeddahb, aborigines in Ceylon, 
identified with "epirits" or "devils'" 
of Chinese records by Tennent, 282 

VisDBLOu, C, 4! 18; 30; 40 (note 
1); 48 (note 3); 43; ibid, (note 1); 
56 (note 1); 59 (note 1); 61 (note 
I); 79 (note 1); 140 (note 2); 
152 (note 1); 222 (note 2); 280 
(note); 290. 

VoLOOBSU : possibly the Psrthian 

name of the city of Hekatompylos, 
141 (note 1); city near the Chal- 
daean lake, possibly the city of 
T'iso-chih, 150 (note). 

VOLTAIRB, M. P., 6. 


Wano Yo-obOh, the calljgrapher, 9, 
Water-bhkbp (ikui-yang), 260 

seq.; referred to in Hou-han-shu, 

34 {note 1). 

Wei-Uo: an important sonree of 
information regarding Ta-ts'in, 14 
seqq.; part of Ma Tuan-lin's notes 
regarding Ta-ts'in may bo derived 
from it, 21; ijuotod, passim, 

Wei-sku (Dynastic History), 17; 
Ta-ts'in aocount identical with 
that found in Pei-ahih, ib.', 48; 
quoted, passim, 

Wm'haiert-ifung^'ao; see Ma Tcah- 


W*K-Ti, emperor of the early Sung 
djroasty, 14. 

WiLLiAMB, S.W., 72 (note 2)j 230; 

285 (note). 
Wn-CH'iB-BAK (—Alexandria), 182 

Wu-shih-toai-kuo-chtian, 20 ; 168 ; 

238; 306. 
Wc-TAN (a port in the Red Seat ), 

Wtlib, a., S (note l)j 6; 18 (note 

1); 35 (note 2); 59 (note 1); 61 

(note 1); 91 (note 1); 138 (note 1); 

140 (notes 1 to 3); 145 (note 1); 

225 (note 2). 

Yano-sa-lo; see Jebdsaleh. 
Yans-ti, the emperor, 285. 
Yeji-tb'ai; see Ak-ts'ai. 
Ybh-kdabo-m, a shining atone (?), 

Yeh-bbi-miho {Jatminum o_0cinak, 
L.), 268; 270Beqq. 

Yen-jiao-tan-t/ii, 287 (note 1). 
YO Hdah, author of the Wei-Uo, 14. 
Ya-hmg, thp, containing first men- 
tion of the Weak Water, 291 seq. 

YC-Lo, dty or kingdom ot, identical 
with T'iao-chih, 145 seq.; a de- 
pendency of Ta-ts'in, 146; 151; 
197; old sound of ihis name. 151 
(note 1); 154; in the north-east of 
Ssn-fn (?), 196. 

Ye-TiBS (— Blhoten), probable sound 
of the name, 151 (note 1). 

Yann-ckien-lei-kan ; pataim. 
YnLi, Col. Hy., 24 ; Preface, ri 

seqq.; 144 (note 1); 150 (note); 

178 (note I); 205 (note 1); 208; 

256 (note 1); 258; 261; 284 (note 

1); 805.